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E & P News

2018

Oct 2018: Eni announced it has signed, with Total and Sonatrach, 2 agreements. An exclusive partnership for offshore exploration will pursue obtaining exploration permits. The deep waters of Algeria are largely unexplored. Eni on its own has also signed to take a 49% stake in 3 oil concessions in the onshore North Berkine basin; Sif Fatima II, Zemlet El Arbi and Ourhoud II.

Jul 2018: Eni and Sonatrach are aiming to create a natural gas hub in the Berkine basin by combining the BRN (Block 403) and MLE (block 405b) assets, including a 180 km pipeline that will connect them.

Mar 2018: Total announced first gas from the Timimoun field in the southwest jointly operated by Sonatrach (51%), Total (37.75%) and Cepsa (11.25%). The complex will have a capacity of 1.8 bcm a year at plateau produced with 37 wells connected to a processing facility tieing into the GR5 pipeline to Hassi R’mel.

Mar 2018: Sonatrach will invest US$250mm to boost output at the Tinhert gas field to 7.3 bcm a year by 2020. Also several gas fields due to come onstream by 2017 will come online in 2018 including Touat, Reggane North and Timimoun.

Jan 2018: Cepsa, Sonatrach and Alnaft (National Resources Development Agency) signed a concession contract for the mature Rhoude el Krouf (RKF) field in the Berkine basin. Re-development includes drilling 30 wells and a new processing plant including an LPG recovery unit. A production capacity of 24,000 bbls of oil per day and 10,000 bbls per day of LPG is planned.

2017

Dec 2017: The Groupement Reggane Nord (GRN) consortium comprising DEA (19.5%), Sonatrach (40%), Repsol (operator, 29.5%) and Edison (11.25%) announced that production from four out of six Reggane Nord gas fields has commenced from 10 wells. The Reggane Nord project includes Reggane, Azrafil Sud-Est, Kahlouche, Kahlouche Sud, Tiouliline and Sali.

Sep 2017: Sonatrach hopes to boost gas output by 3.6 bcm per year at the Hassi Messaoud oil field and by over 2 bcm peryear at the Rhourde el Baguel oil field for exports.

Mar 2017: Sonatrach plans to invest over US$50 bn in E&P projects over the next 5 years including drilling more than 1,300 wells. Sonatrach does not have any major projects scheduled to come onstream but it is exploring new frontiers, including offshore and in the north of the country.

2016

Sep 2016: Algeria will produce more than 9 bcm of additional gas in 2017 when 3 delayed projects in the south west come online; Touat, Timimoun and Reggane. Also the Tiguentourine gas plant resumed full production for the first time since 2013 after its 3rd train came back online.

Aug 2016: Sonatrach (51%), PTT (operator, 24.5%) and CNOOC (24.5%) will submit a Hassi Bir Rekaiz development plan in early 2017 after completion of a drilling campaign in the Hassi Bir Rekaiz permits conducted since 2011. The Bou Goufa-2 (BOG-2) was the last successful appraisal well of this campaign in 2016.

Feb 2016: Petroceltic announced the start of development drilling on the Ain Tsila gas and condensate field. The new rig arrived on the Isarene permit in November and commenced drilling the first of 24 wells. Petroceltic holds 38.25%, Sonatrach 43.375% and Enel 18.375% in the Isarene PSC.

Feb 2016: In Salah Gas (Sonatrach 35%, BP 33.15% and Statoil 31.85%) announced start-up of its Southern Fields project, the latest stage in the development of 7 gas fields in the centre of the country. In Salah Gas commenced production in 2004 from 3 northern fields (Krechba, Teguentour and Reg). The Southern Fields project includes gas fields (Gour Mahmoud, In Salah, Garet el Befinat and Hassi Moumene) to maintain output at 9 bcm each year. Drilling of 26 wells will complete in 2018.

2015

Aug 2015: Production has started at two fields; Bir Seba and Bir Msana, in the Hassi Messaoud area. Sonatrach holds 25% in Bir Seba with PTTEP (35%) and Petrovietnam (40%). Production is scheduled to reach 40,000 bbls per day by 2020. Sonatrach holds 25% in Bir Msana with Petronas (35%) and Cepsa (40%).

Apr 2015: Petroceltic announced the award of a contract for the provision of a drilling rig for the Ain Tsila gas and condensate field.The rig will drill up to 24 new development wells commencing in 2015 and the project remains on track to deliver first gas in Q4 2018.

Apr 2015: Repsol (operator, 52.5%) with GDF Suez (20%) and Enel (27.5%) discovered gas and condensate in the TESO-2 well in the Sud-Est Illizi Licence. This is the third discovery in the Illizi Basin block on the Libyan border. Sonatrach will take 51% in the development phase.

Feb 2015: The Reggane Nord consortium has started drilling 26 development wells. The start of production is scheduled for 2017 near the end of this first drilling campaign. The project comprises gas fields Reggane, Azrafil Sud-Est, Kahlouche, Kahlouche Sud, Tiouliline and Sali. Partners are RWE Dea (19.5%), Sonatrach (40%), Repsol (29.25%) and Edison (11.25%).

Feb 2015: Protesters against plans to exploit shale gas reserves will demonstrate at the desert drilling sites. The country announced plans to drill for its shale gas in 2014 with an initial test well drilled in Ahnet, near In Salah. Although production would be far in the future Sonatrach said more pilot wells are planned.

2014

Nov 2014: A new LNG plant has opened in Arzew. Sonatrach has invested US$4 bn in the plant which has a production capacity of 4.7 mm tpa, replacing the unit that closed in 2010 .

Sept 2014: Algeria awarded 4 of 31 blocks on offer to foreign groups in its first auction since 2011 Shell and Repsol won the Boughezoul area in the north while Shell and Statoil won the Timissit area in the east. Enel and Dragon Oil won the Tinrhert and Msari Akabli areas. The 2011 auction secured bids for 2 blocks out of 10, from Cepsa and Sonatrach.

Jul 2014: Sonatrach expects to start production from six gas fields with a total capacity of 27 bcm per year in the next 3 years, despite declines since 2010 due to a fall in activity. Gas flows are due to start from the Tinhert field, the Hassi Bahamou and Hassi Mena fields, the Reggane project, the Touat field and the Timimoun project.

Apr 2014: Anadarko’s El-Merk development has almost reached plateau production with the completion of the final parts of the surface facilities and most of the wells drilled. However,a plateau output of 85,000 bbls per day of oil and 15,000 bbls per day of condensate is now expected, down from 127,000 bbls per day previously.

Jan 2014: Algeria has invited companies to bid for exploration rights in 31 blocks, totalling 450,000 sq kms, by mid 2014. The blocks may contain conventional or unconventional oil and gas. Exploration rights were awarded for just 9 of 36 blocks on offer in 3 prior bidding rounds from 2008 to 2011 with Cespa the only foreign company involved.

2013

Aug 2013: Groupement TouatGaz (GDF Suez and Sonatrach) operating the Touat gas field signed an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contract with Técnicas Reunidas covering the first phase development. First production is planned for late 2016, producing 4.5 bcm of gas per year plus condensate. A total of 25 wells will be drilled before startup.

Jun 2013: The In Amenas gas plant could be back in full production by early 2014. BP and Statoil operate the facility under a joint venture with Sonatrach.

May 2013: Anadarko and Sonatrach, which started pumping from the El Merk oil complex in March, has delivered first oil. The processing plant will produce 127,000 bbls per day of oil and condensates by the end of the year.

Apr 2013: Repsol has made a natural gas discovery in the Sud-Est Illizi block, close to Algeria’s border with Libya. The TGE-1 well encountered a 50m column of gas. Repsol is the operator with 25.7%, in partnership with Enel (13.5%), GDF Suez (9.8%) and Sonatrach (51%). A large-scale gas production facility in the block may be commercially viable

Feb 2013: ENI and Sonatrach started gas production from the Menzel Ledjmet East (MLE) field in Block 405b, 1,000 kms from Algiers. A plant allows for treatment and sale of 3.2 bcm of gas each year, 15,000 bbls per day of oil and condensate and 12,000 bbls per day of LPG. ENI acquired First Calgary Petroleum, which owned block 405b, in late 2008.

2012

Sep 2012: PTTEP, with Sonatrach and CNOOC, has discovered oil in the 4th and 5th wells of the Hassi Bir Rekaiz project. OGB-1 flowed 485 bbls per day from the Ordovician Ouargla Sandstone. The Triassic Argilo Greseux Inférieur reservoir productive in the first well, RTF-1, is also being appraised. Nine wells are planned up to early 2013. PTTEP also operates the Bir Seba field, in blocks 433a and 416b, under development.

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