Sonatrach Grants Prospection Permits to Eni, Signs Dodsal Deal

By Abdelghani Henni 30 Jun 2014

Algerian state energy company Sonatrach has granted Italian company Eni three permits to carry out prospection activities in the basins of Timimoun and Oued Mya, in onshore southern Algeria.

The three permits (El Guefoul, Tinerkouk, and Terfas), issued from the national agency for the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources (Agence Nationale pour la Valorisation des Ressources en Hydrocarbures, ALNAFT), are valid for two years and cover a total area of 46,837 km2. The work program includes studies and the drilling of prospection wells to define the potential of the areas. The three areas are considered of great interest and potential.

Meanwhile, Sonatrach has signed a USD 618 million deal with India’s Dodsal Engineering and Construction for a project to maintain oil output at the country main Hassi Messaoud oilfield.

The scope of the project will include the construction of a compressor unit with a capacity of 24 million m3/d of gas with two levels of pressure: 220 bar for the gas-lift and 385 bar for the re-injection gas. The deal also includes the construction of a 180 km gas pipe network, Sonatrach said in a statement.

The project, to be implemented in 36 months, will help keep production at the field at its current level of 400,000 B/D, Sonatrach chief Abdelhamid Zerguine said at the signing ceremony, as reported by state media.

Zerguine also said that Sonatrach was planning more projects to boost production in Hassi Messaoud.

A major gas supplier to Europe, Algeria has also planned a third complex that will allow it to salvage an additional 490 billion cubic meters of gas at its main gas field of Hassi R'mel, Zerguine said.

According to Reuters, Said Sahnoun, Sonatrach’s vice president for upstream activities, said that output would see a “considerable rise” until 2018, when the company starts production from its fields of Tinhert, Hassi Bahamou, Hassi Mina, Touat and Reggane.

Abdelghani Henni is the Middle East Editor for the Journal of Petroleum Technology.