Egypt has reached initial agreements with five major energy firms to explore for oil and gas in deep waters in off its western coast on the Mediterranean, the petroleum minister said.
The expansion comes closely after the discovery of new proven oil reserves in and around the Banyu Urip Field, which is estimated to be more than double the previous one.
Ovintiv, formerly known as Encana, said it has shaved more than $1 million off drilling and completion costs in the Stack shale play.
The offshore Leviathan project came online a month ago and is already supplying Egypt and Jordan with natural gas.
The government said Exxon had refused to budge on the financial terms for developing the gas field and failed to come up with an offer that it could accept.
The two oil and gas producers have hired French bank Natixis to run the joint sale process for Blocks 10 BA, 10 BB and 13T in the South Lokichar Basin, sources say.
The Senegal government recently gave the greenlight for the project, which is expected to produce 231 million barrels (MMbbl) of oil resources in its initial phase of development and strike first oil in the next three years.