Exploration company Petroceltic International has been awarded a new license in Egypt.

Block 12 'Ela Qa'a Plain'' is composed of two largely unexplored areas covering 1,824 square kilometres in the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula.

The company said that the overall licence term is six years, with the work commitment in the first four year period comprising new 3D seismic data and the drilling of at least one exploration well.

Petroceltic has a 37.5% working interest in the site, while Dana Petroleum and Beach Petroleum also have working interests.

''We believe the combination of Petroceltic, Dana and Beach will bring an outstanding combination of technical and operational skills to the exploration of this under-explored region,'' commented the company's chief executive Brian O'Cathain.

He said the company has already identified a number of structures which we believe to be potentially prospective for oil and these will be the focus of Petroceltic's work in the first phase of the licence.