Egypt Inks Shale Deal

Shell and Apache will drill Egypt’s first horizontal wells into shale rock under a deal finalized this week, as Cairo seeks to open up Egypt’s sizeable unconventional gas resources in upcoming bidding.

The two firms will exploit shale reserves on the Western Desert’s Northeast Abu al-Gharadig block, Egypt’s Ministry of Petroleum said on 17 December. The firms will spend $30-40mn to drill three wells into the Apollonia formation.

The project will be the first to feature horizontal drilling in Egypt, and the first to deploy hydraulic fracturing (fracking) techniques that have revolutionized the North American energy sector, Petroleum Minister Sharif Isma’il told MEES in an interview last month (MEES, 28 November). He says that a gas price for the project has been agreed: although confidential, it will be above the standard $2.65/mn BTU Egypt pays for conventional gas. (CONTINUED - 399 WORDS)