Egypt wants bigger share in future oil, gas contracts

Egypt will seek a bigger share of production in future oil and gas exploration contracts signed with foreign companies, its petroleum minister said in remarks published Wednesday.

In remarks to Al-Borsa newspaper, Osama Kamel said the new system would not be applied retroactively to existing contracts. He did not give a time frame or any further details.

"We will implement the new contracts system in tenders to be offered in the next period and not retroactively. The contracts that were recently concluded will not be subjected to it," he said.

An Egyptian engineer has filed a lawsuit demanding the freezing of oil exploration contracts signed with foreign firms, saying that they undermine Egyptian interests. An administrative court on Tuesday adjourned the case until 6 July.

The Petroleum Ministry last week awarded contracts for a minimum investment of $1.2 billion in eight oil and gas prospection projects in the Mediterranean Sea off its northern coast.

It awarded the contracts to firms including BP, Petroceltic International, Edison, Sea Dragon , Dana Gas, IEOC, a subsidiary of Italian oil major ENI and Pura Vida Energy.

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