The Egyptian government has signed three offshore oil and gas deals worth at least $220m (£180m) with BP, French oil major Total and Italian Eni's Egyptian subsidiary firm.
The exploration and production deal for blocks in the Mediterranean Sea include drilling for six wells and a signing bonus of $9m, Egypt's oil ministry said in a statement yesterday.
BP and Eni's Egyptian arm IEOC have signed a deal worth $75m for an exploration block, while a consortium of all three companies have signed an $80m agreement for the North El Hammad block. BP alone has signed a third deal, worth $65m, for activities in the North Tabia block.
Egyptian oil minister Tarek El Molla said in a statement that Egypt has signed 73 oil and gas exploration deals with international oil companies in the past three years worth at least $15bn so far.
BP has pumped up its Middle Eastern presence in the final quarter of this year, taking a $2.2bn stake in Abu Dhabi oilfields earlier this month and gaining an extension to a giant gas field in Oman in November.
Elsewhere, the FTSE 100-listed oil giant bolstered its hold on the Australian petrol market with a £1.1bn deal announced yesterday and has also said it plans to double its North Sea oil production by the end of the decade.