News in brief.
Egypt's state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) plans to launch bid rounds for 15 to 20 oil and gas exploration blocks in the first week of June, the company said on Wednesday.
"We've been working hard to prepare everything for the licensing round. We are targeting to launch it in the first week of June," said Mostafa El-Bahr, vice executive chairman for agreements and exploration at EGPC.
Speaking on the sidelines of the InterGas conference in Cairo, Bahr said the blocks would be onshore in Egypt's Western Desert and offshore in the Gulf of Suez.
Egypt's proven natural gas reserves rose to around 76 trillion cubic feet in the last fiscal year, while reserves of crude oil and condensates rose to 4.189 billion barrels, according to the government.
OMV to spend $20 million on Egypt seismic survey
Austrian oil and gas group OMV said on Tuesday it was spending $20 million on an exploration survey in Egypt in the coming weeks.
"We have already committed ourselves to the 3D seismic survey, and that is close to $20 million. We're investing that until July 1," said OMV managing director Hussein Hussein.
"We might see results by the end of this year," he added. OMV was awarded an offshore exploration block in the Mediterranean Sea near Matrouh in the 2006 Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) licensing round.
Hussein said the company hadn't been interested in the most recent bid round launched by EGAS in September 2008 and was more interested in the onshore blocks expected in an upcoming Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) licensing round coming up soon.
"We weren't really interested in the Nile Delta and more interested in the Western Desert," Hussein said. "We are waiting for the EGPC round because it will be onshore," he said. --Reuters
BG Egypt awarded gas block in EGAS bid round
BG Egypt, a subsidiary of Britain's BG Group, said on Tuesday it had been awarded an offshore gas block in the latest bid round held by the state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS).
"We are delighted to have been awarded a gas block in the latest Egas bid round," the president of BG Egypt, Tim Blackford, told the InterGas conference in Cairo.
On the conference sidelines, he identified the award as an offshore site called Block 1, North Gamasa. --Reuters
Shell wins Egypt gas block with BP and Petronas
Royal Dutch Shell has won a gas block off Egypt's Mediterranean coast in a consortium with BP and Malaysia's Petronas in an EGAS bid round, the Anglo-Dutch company said on Wednesday.
The consortium won the bid for the North Damietta offshore Block 3 in a bidding round launched by Egypt's Natural Gas Holding Company, EGAS, a Shell statement said.
It said the concession covered an area of 1,600 sq km and carries a commitment of drilling four exploratory wells over six years.
Shell Egypt also said on Tuesday it would start a drilling campaign in its offshore Northwest Damietta concession in the last quarter of the year.
"We are starting a drilling campaign in northwest Damietta. The well we are drilling is quite deep, it's around 6,000 meters (19,680 ft) in depth," Ahmad Atallah, country manager and managing director of Shell in Egypt, told a conference in Cairo.
"We will start drilling in the last quarter of 2009," he said.
Shell operates upstream oil and gas projects and downstream marketing services in Egypt. It has concessions in the Western Desert and other areas of the North African country. --Reuters
Talaat Moustafa Q1 net profit drops 26 pct
Talaat Moustafa Group, Egypt's largest real estate developer by market value, posted a 26 percent decline in net profit to LE 314 million ($55.9 million) in the first quarter of 2009, the company said on Wednesday.
The company said in a statement published in Egyptian newspapers that its operating revenues dropped to LE 1.55 billion from LE 1.60 billion in the first quarter of 2008. --Reuters
FIHC buys 3,000 T sunoil at $862/T
Egypt's state-owned Food Industries Holding Company (FIHC) said on Tuesday it had bought 3,000 tons of sunflower oil from Nidera after originally requesting bids for 25,000 tons.
"We only bought 3,000 T of sunflower oil at $862 per ton for shipment second half of June," an FIHC official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters. --Reuters
Eye on the market
EFG-Hermes raised Eastern Company's short-term rating to "buy" from "accumulate" and expects the firm to comfortably meet EFG-Hermes' current fiscal year 2008/09 net profit forecast of LE 759 million ($135 million).
Beltone Financial assigns a "buy" rating to Olympic Group and says the Egyptian home appliance maker will benefit when the white goods market picks up, given its strong brand name and partnership with Electrolux.
Interest for Egypt airlines despite crisis
The Ministry of Civil Aviation say there has been a rise in applications to found airline companies in Egypt despite the financial crisis, with applications by 21 companies with a total capital of LE 674.2 million, the daily Al-Alam Al-Youm said on Wednesday.
Two German factories in Egypt
Germany's ambassador to Egypt said that two factories are being set up with Egyptian and German capital for a total of e1/4110 million, according to Al-Alam Al-Youm.
The first factory will be a e1/440 million joint project between German wind tower manufacturer SIAG and Egypt's El Sewedy Holding to produce wind towers.
The second, e1/470 million factory is a joint venture between Germany's Interpane and Raya Holding to produce a type of insulating glass.
Flydubai launches Alexandria-Dubai route
Dubai's first low cost airline, flydubai, will operate daily flights to Dubai from Alexandria starting from June 9, the airline said in a statement.
The launch of operations in Egypt comes just weeks after the airline's official opening and at the onset of the busy summer season.
One way fares to Dubai will be from LE 825, including taxes and a hand baggage allowance of 10 kgs. Checked bags of up to 32 kgs each, seat selection and desired food and beverages cost extra.
Flydubai's CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith said the airline's routes between Amman and Dubai and Beirut and Dubai have been successful.
Daily NewsEgypt 2009
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