Shell will embark this year on a major gas exploration campaign offshore Egypt, that could involve drilling in a new frontier play, after signing a multi-well contract with Stena Drilling.

The supermajor’s move reflects a recent resurgence of exploration activities in Egypt and the wider East Mediterranean area in order to meet surging demand for gas in both the region and continental Europe.

Chevron and Eni are drilling exploration probes — the US major just confirmed its Nargis-1 gas find — while BP also plans to kick-off a drilling campaign this year.