Egyptian Oil Minister Sameh Fahmy has announced an international tender for 30 oil and gas exploration blocks, located both on and offshore. Fahmy said the tender -- launched by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (GASC) and expiring in October -- encompasses 100,000 square km, which initial studies indicate as "encouraging" oil and gas potentials. The blocks include seven new areas in the deepwater Mediterranean Sea reaching 2,000 meters, 10 areas in the Gulf of Suez, nine blocks in the Western Desert and one area in the Nile Delta, he said. Fahmy said exploration and drilling would begin during 2003.
Egypt's crude output rose to 633,548 barrels per day (bpd) in May 2002, from 630,000 bpd in April 2002. Natural gas output decreased to 2.62 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) in May 2002, from 2.90 bcfd in April 2002.