Egypt's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla signed on Saturday two deals with international firms to explore petroleum and gas in two deep-water areas in the Mediterranean and the Western Desert, Xinhua reported.
In a statement, the ministry said the deals were signed with companies from Canada, Britain, the Netherlands, Malaysia and Kuwait, adding that the deals include drilling 12 wells at an investment of at least 1 billion US dollars.
The minister affirmed that the petroleum sector will proceed with offering international bids, as well as signing new agreements with the aim of boosting Egypt's production of petroleum and gas to reduce imports.
Once an energy exporter, Egypt has turned into a net importer of energy in recent years, as a result of declining production and increasing consumption.
However, Egypt aims to return to an energy exporter after resources were discovered across the country, which attracted international firms over the past few years.
Egypt is currently engaged in deals with international energy corporations for oil and gas exploration, including Italy's Eni and Britain's BP.