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Shell makes new natural gas discovery in Egypt

The Ades contract with Pertamina will begin in the second half of 2024 Reuters/Amir Cohen
Ades' contract with Pertamina of Indonesia will begin in the second half of 2024

Shell Egypt has discovered a new natural gas reservoir in the North East El-Amriya block in Egypt’s Mediterranean Sea.

The company finished drilling the first well in its three-well exploration campaign, Mina West, located in the North East El-Amriya block, it said in a statement.

Drilling was conducted at a water depth of 250 metres below sea level in the offshore Nile Delta.

The size and recoverable potential of the discovery will be determined following further data evaluation.

Shell has contracted with UK-based Stena Drilling to utilise their mobile offshore drilling unit – the Stena Forth rig – for the drilling.

“This discovery represents a significant step forward for Shell Egypt,” said Khaled Kacem, vice president and country chair of Shell Egypt.

Shell and its partners will continue to work diligently and safely to reach the development phase of the block, he added.

In September, Shell entered into a farm-out agreement with Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company, with the latter acquiring a 40 percent stake in the North East El-Amriya block.

Shell retained the remaining 60 percent share in partnership with the state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company.

In September, the Oil Ministry of Egypt launched an international bidding round for exploration in 23 blocks by oil and gas companies. 

Of the blocks on offer, 10 are in the Western Desert, seven in the Gulf of Suez, four in the Red Sea, and two in the Eastern Desert.

Oil minister Tarek el-Molla said that the ministry had increased its investment forecast for the current financial year to $8.5-$9 billion. This would be a 60 percent increase on the $5.7 billion attracted in the 2022/23 financial year. 

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