CAIRO- Egypt will launch two international bid rounds for oil and gas exploration in 2018, the petroleum ministry said in a statement on Monday.
One bid round will cover 16 concession areas, mostly in the Mediterranean Sea, under state buyer EGAS, in its largest ever bid round.
The other auction will cover 11 concession areas under the Egyptian General Petroleum Corp (EGPC), the statement said.
Italian energy group Eni's 2015 discovery of the mammoth Zohr gas field has increased Egypt's appetite for international exploration auctions as it seeks to attain natural gas self-sufficiency by end-2018.
Egypt signed a $105 million exploration agreement with Eni and an Egyptian oil company this month to search for more oil and gas off the coast of northern Sinai, the oil minister said on Wednesday. (nL8N1SG6TT)
(Reporting by Ehab Farouk, Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Toby Chopra) ((Nadine.Awadalla@thomsonreuters.com;))