Egypt signs Sahara oil exploration deals with US firm

Wednesday 10-09-2014 02:36 PM
Egypt signs Sahara oil exploration deals with US firm

A worker fuels a car in Cairo - Reuters


CAIRO, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Egypt signed two oil exploration agreements worth at least $44 million with U.S. oil company Apache on Wednesday, the state news agency reported.

The agreements for drilling in the Western Sahara also included $25 million in state grants, with Apache expected to drill 11 new wells, according to MENA.

Oil Minister Sharif Ismail said 35 exploration deals were signed since October 2013, representing an estimated $2 billion in investments and $242 million in grants for companies to drill 149 wells.

Egypt has been struggling with soaring energy bills caused by high subsidies it provides on fuel for its population of 85 million. The subsidies have turned the country from a net energy exporter into a net importer over the last few years. (Reporting By Ehab Farouk; writing by Shadi Bushra; editing by Michael Georgy and Louise Heavens)

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