CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt has accepted six bids for oil and gas exploration worth a total investment of up to $200 million, the Ministry of Petroleum said on Friday.
In May, the General Authority for Petroleum announced an international tender for 11 oil and natural gas blocks in the western desert and Gulf of Suez at a time when Egypt aspires to increase its oil and gas production to meet the growing domestic demand for energy.
Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Apache Corp and Apex are among the companies that won bids, the ministry said in a statement. BP's bid was worth at least $46 million, Apache's at least $60.6 million, and Shell offered at least $35.5 million.
The government has been on a drive to lure back foreign investors to its energy sector in an effort to boost squeezed public finances.
Egypt owes about $3 billion to international oil companies for oil and gas they have supplied.
(Reporting by Ehab Farouk; editing by Susan Thomas)