• 3 minutes Nucelar Deal Is Dead? Iran Distances Itself Further From ND, Alarming Russia And France
  • 5 minutes Don Jr. Tweets name Ukraine Whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella. Worked for CIA during Obama Administration, Hold over to Trump National Security Counsel under Gen McCallister, more . . . .
  • 9 minutes Shale pioneer Chesepeak will file bankruptcy soon. FINALLY ! The consolidation begins
  • 12 minutes China's Blueprint For Global Power
  • 47 mins Pioneer's Sheffield in Doghouse. Oil upset his bragging about Shale hurt prices. Now on campaign to lower expectations, prop up price.
  • 7 hours Tesla Launches Faster Third Generation Supercharger
  • 51 mins EU has already lost the Trump vs. EU Trade War
  • 8 hours Passerby doused with flammable liquid and set on fire by peaceful protesters
  • 48 mins ''Err ... but Trump ...?'' #Humph
  • 10 hours Who writes this stuff? "Crude Prices Swing Between Gains, Losses"
  • 2 hours China's Renewables Boom Hits the Wall
  • 22 hours Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, Ukraine Oil & Gas exploration company Burisma, and 2020 U.S. election shenanigans
  • 17 hours Climate Change Consensus Shifts in Wind, But Gas Is Still the Right Move
  • 23 hours Atty General Barr likely subpeona so called whistleblower and "leaker" Eric Ciaramella
  • 21 hours Does .001 of Atmosphere Control Earth's Climate?!
  • 22 hours Trump Interview On Farage's Radio Show #classy
Alt Text

Natural Gas Is Fighting For Survival

Natural gas is considered a…

Alt Text

OPEC Output Soars As Venezuela Bounces Back From The Brink

Despite Saudi overcompliance and political…

James Burgess

James Burgess

James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

More Info

Premium Content

Shell And Apache To Start Fracking In Egypt This Month

Egypt is close to joining the club of unconventional gas producers after Shell and Apache announced their local joint venture was ready to start work on a pilot project in the Western Desert, involving hydraulic fracturing, by the end of this month.

For Shell, this project represents an expansion of its presence in the gas industry of the North African country, which used to be a net exporter of the fuel before the revolution. It has substantial reserves of gas, including the biggest deposit in the Mediterranean, the Zohr Prospect, and much of these are awaiting development. In other words, Egypt’s gas industry has growth potential that the Anglo-Dutch company has not failed to overlook. Related: Eni’s Arctic Field Comes Online, But Will it Ever Be Profitable?

This expansion, which builds on the already solid presence of BG Group in Egypt, is part of Shell’s efforts to maintain its position as a leading global supplier of gas, as stated in its annual report.

And getting at Egypt’s gas through hydraulic fracturing is relatively easy—at least in terms of environmental opposition to the process. Egypt is in no position to block gas development as the nation is energy-starved and in urgent need of new sources of supply.

Shell and Apache together control half of the enterprise that will develop the Western Desert field, which is part of the North East Abu Gharadig oil and gas deposit, the other half in the hands of Egypt’s General Petroleum. Shell is the operator, with a 52 percent interest in their half. Three wells will be drilled at the field by June, when Shell and Apache will discuss the full-scale development of the project with the Egyptian government. Related: OPEC-Russia Meeting Set For April With Or Without Iran

A Wood Mackenzie report last year noted Shell’s focus on gas, especially on LNG, as a major growth driver for the company. Now, after the acquisition of BG Group, itself with a solid gas portfolio, the Anglo-Dutch firm has practically become the largest player in the global LNG field.

Over the near-term, this might not be a reason to cheer, given the bearish gas market at the moment; but over the medium- and long-term, a focus on gas may well prove to the be the smartest move. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global gas demand will continue to climb over the next five years, albeit not at a terribly significant rate. Growth drivers will be markets in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, where demand currently outstrips supply.

With its gas portfolio and this latest addition to its gas operations, Shell is among the companies in a very good position to benefit from this demand growth. Related: ‘’Iran’s Return To The Oil Markets Less Damaging Than Expected’’

But then again, Egypt is not the most stable environment to work in, and security concerns are mounting. In August 2014, an American employee of Apache Corp. was killed in an apparent carjacking in the Western Desert. While this particular type of incident was a one-off, energy security experts see a growing problem with everything from militant bombings to organized crime.

According to University of Oxford energy expert Justin Dargin, “the chaos following Mubarak’s ouster has caused terror attacks aimed at the energy sector—especially of the natural gas sector—to increase dramatically.”

With exception to the Sinai, however, militant attacks far have been focused largely on urban centers and security forces, and not really on oil and gas installations. The fear, however, is that eventually oil and gas could become a primary target because of its importance to the future stability of the Egyptian government.

By James Burgess of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment
  • Philip Branton on March 17 2016 said:
    What ?........geez, Egypt is sitting on a lot more SOLAR energy than stupid fracking..!!!

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play