CAIRO- Egypt will auction 10 or 11 oil and gas exploration blocks in the Mediterranean, petroleum minister Tarek El Molla said on Tuesday.
Egypt also aims to auction oil and gas drilling in the Red Sea by the end of 2018, Molla told a news conference.
Egypt plans to speed up production from recently discovered fields, with an eye to halting imports by 2019 and achieving self-sufficiency.
In a separate news conference on Tuesday Eni subsidiary IEOC said it aims to increase gas production from Egypt's Zohr field to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) in May, and lift it to 2 bcf/d by the end of 2018.
Discovered in 2015 by Eni the field contains an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Fuel subsidies in Egypt rose to 84 billion Egyptian pounds ($4.75 billion) in the first nine months of 2017-2018, which ends on June 30, compared with 78 billion a year earlier, Molla said.
The government had allocated an estimated 120 billion Egyptian pounds ($6.80 billion) for fuel subsidies in the 2017/18 budget, but Finance Minister Amr El Garhy said last week that he expects a bill of around 110-115 billion Egyptian pounds.
Egypt cut fuel subsidies twice in less than a year and, according to an official document, it aims to reduce fuel subsidies by about 26 percent to 89.075 billion Egyptian pounds in the 2018/19 fiscal year that begins in July.
($1 = 17.6800 Egyptian pounds)
(Reporting by Ahmed Ismail Writing by Amina Ismail; Editing by Louise Heavens) ((email@example.com; +20 2 2394 8114;))