Egypt will for the first time hold a tender for gas exploration in its territorial waters in the Mediterranean Sea bordering with Israel and Cyprus, Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) President Mohamed Shoaib said on Sunday. “This week Egypt will offer an international tender for prospecting 15 areas for the presence of oil and gas, including 13 sites in Egypt’s territorial waters in the Mediterranean Sea,” Shoaib said. Six sites are located in the waters bordering with Israel and Cyprus, he said. “In this portion of the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt will for the first time announce an international gas exploration tender,” he said. Preliminary data indicate that considerable gas reserves are located in the bordering areas, he said. The tender will be held during five months. Gas companies from the UK, France and Malaysia have already expressed their interest in the tender. A geological prospecting study carried out by U.S. scientists suggest that there are several gas-bearing strata in the eastern portion of Egypt’s territorial waters with overall reserves of at least 230 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, he said.