An EGAS official revealed that approvals to open bids for research and exploration of shale gas in four areas in the Western Desert have been granted.
He said that the project will be offered in a special bid by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), due to EGPC’s jurisdiction in the Western Desert. EGPC will decide on a date for the bid.
The official stated that EGAS aimed to obtain two regions in the Western Desert, but authorities issued approvals for four.
He said that the areas to be included in the bid include sites where Shell and Apache are conducting shale gas production trials in the Western Desert, as the two companies have contracts to develop the sites.
Shell Egypt President Jeroen Regtien said in previous statements made to Al-Borsa that that shale gas production trials will begin this month in the Apollonia area in the Western Desert with Apache.
The EGAS official explained that the shale gas exploration agreements differ from others in terms of the duration of concession, which will be in excess of 20 years.
He revealed that an agreement has been made with foreign companies for this type of investment and technology in which different prices are set depending on whether gas is produced from surface, deep water, or shallow waters.
In previous statements, Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail has said that his ministry plans to launch an international tender for shale gas extraction by the end of this year.
A study published by the US Energy Information Administration earlier this year stated that Egypt’s reserves of shale oil, for which extraction is a risky process, amounts to 114bn barrels. Approximately 4.6bn barrels of this are extractable, while conventional crude oil reserves number around 4bn.
The Ministry of Petroleum is working to extract shale gas from the Western Desert in order to compensate for the lack of natural gas on the local market, as Egypt produces around 4.75bn cubic feet of gas per day while actual market requirements total approximately 6bn cubic feet per day.