Shell, along with US independent Apache, its partner on the Northeast Abu al-Gharadig block in Egypt’s Western Desert, will begin drilling a first unconventional gas well in the concession by the end of this month with first test gas output likely by June, Apache’s Egypt VP Thomas Maher says.

Unlike the US shale revolution, the horizontal drilling and fracking which will take place in Egypt will be focused on carbonate or chalk production, an Apache spokesperson tells MEES. Mr...