Six companies — including BP and Eni — have been awarded acreage in Egypt’s just-completed licensing round after committing to spend $250 million on exploration activities.

The "digital" bid round encompassed blocks in the Mediterranean Sea, the Western Desert and the Gulf of Suez, all proven oil and gas producing areas.

According to the Ministry of Petroleum, eight licences covering a total of 12,300 square kilometres have been awarded to Eni , BP, Houston-based Apex International, London-listed Energean, Hungary-based INA Nafta, Enap Sipetrol of Chile and China's United Energy Group.