ExxonMobil intends to drill its first exploratory well in Egypt next October, in search of natural gas at the North Marakia concession area on the Mediterranean, an unnamed government official told Asharq Business.

The initial investment cost of the project is estimated at $100 million, the official said.

Egypt awarded the exploration of the North Marakia offshore block to ExxonMobil in 2020. The block covers an area of 4,847 square kilometers, up to 2,000 meters deep.

Qatar Energy owns a 40% stake in the contractor’s share in the North Marakia offshore area in the Mediterranean Sea, while an ExxonMobil’s subsidiary owns 60%.

ExxonMobil is planning to drill three exploratory wells at the concession area and is preparing to begin seismic surveying operations in another two concessions, Masry and Cairo, on the Mediterranean Sea during 2024.

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