As EGAS announced bidding for sixteen blocks in the highly prospective offshore Mediterranean and onshore Nile Delta (see p4), oil-focused state oil firm EGPC announced a second round for 11 blocks spread across the Western Desert, Gulf of Suez and Eastern Desert. Cairo will be hoping to drum-up interest in its oil producing regions with oil output slipping to a 35-year low last year (see p15).

Six of the blocks are in the Western Desert, with the S. Abu Sennan and the S. Burg El Arab...