Shell has discovered a natural gas reservoir in the North East El-Amriya block in the Egyptian portion of the Mediterranean Sea.

Primary data confirmed the existence of a gas-bearing reservoir in the offshore Nile Delta, where drilling operations were conducted at a depth of around 250m below sea level.

The discovery was made following the drilling of the first well as part of Shell Egypt’s three-well exploration campaign, called Mina West, in the North East El-Amriya block, also known as Block 3.

To ascertain the extent and potential for recovery from the discovery, additional analysis of the collected data will be needed.

Shell has hired the Stena Drilling for Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU), or the Stena Forth rig, for the drilling campaign.

Shell Egypt vice-president and country chair Khaled Kacem said: “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.

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“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.”

In September this year, Shell reached an agreement to sell a 40% stake in the North East El-Amriya block to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company.

Shell acquired the North East El-Amriya offshore block from ExxonMobil Egypt in 2022 through its subsidiary BG International.

Earlier this month, Shell, through Shell Petroleum Company, reached an agreement to sell its stake in its Pakistan business to Wafi Energy, a Saudi Arabian company.

The divesture of Pakistan operations formed part of the UK-based oil and gas major’s efforts to simplify operations.