Egypt announced on Thursday the start of a bid round for exploration and exploitation of oil and natural gas in 24 blocks.
The round, which concludes on Aug. 1, includes nine blocks in the Mediterranean Sea, 12 in the Western Desert and three in the Gulf of Suez, an oil ministry source told Reuters.
Egypt's gas production has boomed since Italy's Eni discovered the giant Zohr field off Egypt's Mediterranean coast in 2015.
The tenders were being offered by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Egyptian Natural Gas (EGAS), a ministry statement said.
Egypt also announced the launch of a digital portal, Egypt Upstream Gateway, to provide geological data for petroleum industry exploration and production activities.
The country is trying to position itself as an energy hub in the eastern Mediterranean, importing gas from Israel and exporting to Jordan and potentially to Europe and Asia.
(Reporting by Ehab Farouk and Ahmed Ismail; Writing by Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Aidan Lewis and Edmund Blair)