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Egypt signs oil, gas exploration deal with Shell, Petronas worth about $1 billion: statement

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt has signed a deep-water oil and gas exploration deal with Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.AS) and Malaysia's Petronas (PGAS.KL) worth around $1 billion for 8 wells in the country's West Nile Delta, the petroleum ministry said on Saturday.

The country also signed a second $10 million deal with Rockhopper (RKH.L), Kuwait Energy (IPO-KEC.L) and Canada's Dover Corporation (DOV.N) for exploration in the Western Desert, a ministry statement said.

Egypt aims to be a regional hub for the trade of liquefied natural gas (LNG) after a string of major discoveries in recent years including Zohr, which holds an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.

(Reporting by Ehab Farouk and Ahmet Tolba; Writing by Nadine Awadalla, Editing by William Maclean)