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The award by Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas) of 12 licences on 13 February saw companies extend their existing exploration interests into nearby blocks, with decisions primarily motivated by existing geological knowledge and proximity of operating infrastructure. An observer at the Egypt Petroleum Show in Cairo, where minister of petroleum Tarek El Molla announced the licences, described the mood as like a “goldrush”.