CAIRO, May 5 (UPI) -- The state-owned natural gas company in Egypt announced it extended a deadline for bids to explore eight license areas to July.
State-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Corp. announced Sunday nearly two dozen licenses would be put on the auction block in July, rather than in May when originally planned.
The company offered no reason for the extension.
Energy companies have been reluctant to invest in Egypt since the 2011 revolution. Though staying on as the operator, U.S. energy explorer Apache Corp. last year sold a 33 percent share in its oil and gas business in Egypt to Sinopec, known formally as China National Petroleum Corp.
Last week, British company BG Group said it had questions about the durability of its Egyptian operations because the Egyptian government was taking on more natural gas than expected.
Egyptian militants last year targeted vital gas infrastructure in the Sinai Peninsula and the country's military has since ramped up its patrols offshore to protect key transit routes in the Suez Canal.