The allocation of these blocks by the Algerian Ministry of Energy and Mining and the public-sector corporation Sonatrach was made on December 6, 2003 to the consortium consisting of Repsol YPF (operator) with a share of 45 per cent, RWE Dea AG (30 per cent) and Edison Gas (25 per cent). The companies forming the consortium subsequently entered into an agreement with Sonatrach on December 22 for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons.
The four blocks, comprising a total area of 11,688 km2, include three gas finds as well as substantial exploration potential. Estimated gas resources amount to some 20 billion m3, equivalent to about 125 million barrels of crude oil. The new blocks are in the vicinity of blocks 351c and 352c in the Reggane Basin, for which the consortium had been awarded a contract in the 3rd international round of awards by the Algerian government in mid-2002.
"This new area is a sensible complement to our existing activities in Algeria and supports our regional natural gas strategy", explained Dr. Werner Schwarzhans, Area Manager of New Ventures North Africa/Middle East.
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