Egypt Inks $1 bln Oil & Gas Deal with Shell, Petronas

The government of Egypt last weekend signed a deep-water oil and gas exploration deal with Royal Dutch Shell and Malaysia’s Petronas worth around $1 billion for eight wells, a statement said.

The government in a separate deal of $10 million with Rockhopper, Kuwait Energy and Canada’s Dover Corporation, agreed on the exploration of the Western Desert.

Egypt has gas reserves of its own but also has very heavy demand for natural gas, for domestic use – and for export as liquefied natural gas.

Earlier this year, Delek, the Israeli oil and natural gas explorations group owned by the billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, announced two deals to sell gas to Egypt. The deal is for 64 billion cubic meters over 10 years, worth about $15 billion.

The North Africa nation aims to be a regional hub for the trade of liquefied natural gas (LNG) after a string of major discoveries in recent years.

The country’s natural gas production increased to 187 million cubic meters per day, on the back of a surge in the output of Zohr offshore gas field.

The Italian multinational firm ENI over the last couple of years has made the country one of its top priorities, drilling more wells offshore and onshore targeting both oil and gas. The company was recently granted a 739-km exploration license 50 km off Egypt in the East Nile Delta.

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