The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum announced in a statement on Monday the launch of a new international tender for gas and oil exploration in 23 new areas.

The bidding period extends until February 25, 2024, and the ministry added that the offering includes 10 areas in the Western Desert, two in the Eastern Desert, 7 areas in the Gulf of Suez, and 4 areas in the Red Sea.

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla said the new bidding was for both the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and the Egyptian South Valley Petroleum Holding Company.

With this proposal, Egypt "continues its work to increase its production of petroleum wealth and increase the investments planned from this activity", he added.

Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country, is seeking to make itself a regional energy hub.