Egypt has signed oil and gas exploration deals worth $187 million with several Western companies according to reports.
The agreements cover seven exploration areas. Germany's RWE won two exploration blocks in the Gulf of Suez, while Tunisia's HBSI, Canada's TransGlobe and Italy's Edison secured five blocks in Egypt's western desert.
In December, Egypt's General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Natural Gas Holding Company announced an international auction for oil and gas exploration blocks.
The concessions are for areas in the Suez Canal, Egypt's western desert, the Mediterranean sea and the Nile Delta.
Egypt has been struggling with soaring energy bills caused by the high subsidies it provides on fuel for its population of 85 million. However, Egypt has started repaying some of its debt to foreign oil companies, which had reached more than $6 billion.