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Image courtesy of Eni.

Italy’s Eni signed a new concession agreement Friday to operate the South-West Melehia block in the Western Desert of Egypt.

Eni will operate the South-West Melehia block through its fully owned subsidiary International Egyptian Oil Company (IEOC).

The block covers about 794 square miles and is located immediately south of Melehia license, operated by Agiba, a joint venture of IEOC and EGPC that manages Eni’s operations in the Western Desert.

“This new acquisition adds to the list of exploration successes achieved in the area over the past two years and further strengthen Eni’s position in Egypt, an area of historic and strategic importance for the company,” Eni said.

The award follows a 2013 international competition bid round conducted by Egypt’s Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGCP).

Eni won its initial exploration license for the South-West Melehia block in September 2014.

Drilling has not started at the block yet.

The company has been working in Egypt since 1954 and is the main producer of oil in the country, with an equity of 210,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.