Production from Egypt’s Giza and Fayoum gas fields, part of BP’s West Nile Delta Development, will jump to 700 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) by April as the country returns to gas export markets, its petroleum minister said on Feb. 11.

Egypt is hoping to leverage its strategic location and well-developed infrastructure to become a key international trading and distribution center for gas.

It has made a series of big discoveries in recent years, including Zohr, the largest gas field in the Mediterranean, but also needs to meet rapidly increasing domestic demand.

BP said on Feb. 11 that output from the West Nile Development would reach almost 1.4 Bcf/d this year after a third field, Raven, comes online..

Egypt’s daily gas production is currently around 6.6 Bcf and it has said it will begin exporting gas to Jordan this year.

Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said results of two major exploration tenders for oil and gas announced last year for 27 blocks would be announced during a three-day energy forum in Cairo.

Speaking at the event, Molla said the tenders had seen “high turnout” from international companies without specifying which.

Egypt has worked to pay off once mounting debts to oil companies order to bring back major players that left in the years after its 2011 uprising, when payments were delayed.

Molla said that about 80% of arrears had been paid, but did not specify the amount left. He said in July they stood at $1.2 billion and Egypt was committed to settling them by the end of 2019.