Shell ups investments 13% despite falling oil prices: Egyptian official

Oil giant Shell has boosted its investments in Egypt by 13 percent approximately despite the continued declines in global oil prices, head of state-run Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation said Monday.

Oil prices fell on Monday, with Brent touching one-month lows.

U.S. crude prices briefly bounced off session lows after an outage on a major pipeline raised concerns about delivery to the U.S. storage hub. Brent crude futures were down 60 cents at $38.07 a barrel by 12:55 p.m. EDT (16:55 GMT). The session low was $37.96, the lowest since March 4.

Oil prices have lost upward momentum in the past week, but remain up about 40 percent from around 12-year lows.

There are large number of global oil firms working in Egypt decided not to reduce their investments, to maintain their annual crude and natural gas outputs, Mohamed Al Masry, EGPC’s Chief Executive Officer, further told Amwal Al Ghad.

For instance, BP will continue carrying out its project in South Alexandria and East Delta, without cut in investments, Al Masry added.

The Egyptian official forecast that oil prices are likely to surge again to gradually reach $70 a barrel in the next two years.

Earlier in March, Apache Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell Plc announced plans to start producing unconventional gas from their joint venture in Egypt’s Western Desert by the end of June even as Apache is cutting investment in the nation because of falling oil prices.

Apache and Shell will start drilling the North African country’s first unconventional gas well in a pilot project by the end of March, Apache Egypt Region Vice President and General Manager Thomas Maher said in an interview in Cairo. Apache and Shell will drill two additional wells before talking with the government about full development of the field by horizontal drilling and fracking, he said.