Stena Forth drillship; Source: Stena Drilling

Shell finds gas in Mediterranean Sea with Stena drillship

Shell Egypt, a subsidiary of the UK-headquartered energy giant Shell, has made a new gas discovery in an offshore block located in Egypt’s Mediterranean Sea. Stena Drilling’s drillship was used to drill this well, which is the first of three planned in the oil major’s current drilling campaign.

Stena Forth drillship; Source: Stena Drilling

Shell hired Stena Drilling’s Stena Forth drillship in January 2023 to carry out its three-well drilling program in Egypt. The 2009-built sixth-generation harsh environment dual-activity dynamically positioned (DP3) drillship has now completed the drilling of the first well in this three-well exploration campaign.

The well, Mina West, is located in the North East El-Amriya block in the Mediterranean Sea, and drilling activities took place at a water depth of around 250 meters below sea level in the offshore Nile Delta. According to Shell, primary data confirmed the presence of a gas-bearing reservoir, however, further evaluation of the acquired data is required to determine the size and recoverable potential of the discovery.

Khaled Kacem, Vice President and Country Chair of Shell Egypt, commented: “This discovery is an important step forward for Shell Egypt bolstering our growth aspirations and ongoing commitment as a key partner in Egypt’s energy landscape. Successful delivery of our current exploration campaign is part of Shell Egypt’s growth strategy. Shell, together with its partners, will continue to work towards safely and efficiently reaching the development phase of the block.”

This discovery comes months after Shell signed a farm-out agreement (FOA) in September 2023 with Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) under which KUFPEC acquired a 40% stake in North East El-Amriya block, with the oil major holding the remaining 60% stake of the partner’s share with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS).

Shell has been busy with multiple projects around the world. Recently, Boskalis’ largest semi-submersible heavy transport vessel transported Shell’s new floating production unit (FPU) destined for the oil major’s new project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, which is slated to come online next year. The vessel, loaded with the 25,000-ton FPU, has arrived in Ingleside, United States.

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Shell’s cash capital expenditure for the full year 2023 is anticipated to be approximately $23 – $25 billion. The company’s Integrated Gas production is expected to be around 870 – 930 thousand boe/d while LNG liquefaction volumes are projected to be about 6.7 – 7.3 million tonnes. This outlook reflects ongoing maintenance at Prelude and lower expected liquefaction volumes from Egypt.