QatarEnergy would hold 33% of a consortium that also comprises Italy’s ENI and the United Kingdom’s BP.
Egypt’s EGAS has awarded QatarEnergy a new offshore exploration block following a “competitive” bidding round, the state-owned Qatari company announced on Wednesday.
“QatarEnergy has been awarded a new exploration block offshore the Arab Republic of Egypt as part of the 2022 EGAS International Bid Round,” the Qatari entity said in a statement.
The results were announced following a “competitive bid process” as part of the 2022 EGAS International Bid Round, granting QatarEnergy exploration and production rights for block EGY-MED-E8 in East Port Said.
QatarEnergy is set to hold 33% of a consortium that also comprises Italy’s ENI (34%) and the United Kingdom’s BP (33%).
“We are delighted to be awarded the East Port Said block, which further expands our presence in the Arab Republic of Egypt. We look forward to collaborating with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, EGAS, and our partners ENI and BP to progress our exploration endeavors,” QatarEnergy CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said.
The latest contract adds to QatarEnergy’s list of other offshore explorations, including Red Sea Block 3 and Block 4, and the North Marakia block in the Mediterranean Sea.
The East Port Said block is located offshore Egypt’s northeastern Mediterranean coast. It boasts a depth of up to 800 metres and occupies an area of approximately 2,600 square kilometres.
The latest announcement further solidifies relations between Qatar and Egypt since ties were resumed in 2021.
In 2017, Egypt joined Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in severing ties with Qatar while imposing an illegal air, land and sea blockade on the country—triggering the region’s worst diplomatic crisis.
The quartet accused Qatar of supporting terrorism at the time, though Doha has consistently and vehemently denied those allegations as “baseless”.
By 2021, the Gulf row had effectively come to an end with the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration at the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Saudi Arabia.
Just hours after signing the historic accord, Qatar Diar Real Estate Company officially opened its prestigious and wholly-owned St. Regis Hotel in Cairo.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi then appointed a new ambassador to Doha in June of the same year, which was soon followed by the appointment of the first Qatari envoy to Cairo since the diplomatic rift.
Then, in March 2022, the Gulf state announced the signing of investment deals totalling $5 billion between Doha and Cairo during the visit of Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani to Egypt.
Despite the progress in relations, two journalists from the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network remain behind bars without trial in Egypt.