PTTEP Acquires Stake in Algerian Oilfields

PTT Exploration and Production is acquiring a 35% stake in two Algerian fields from Petrovietnam. Under the agreement, PTTEP,became the third partner in two onshore blocks - 433a and 416b - located near Touggourt and covering an area of 6,471 square kilometers.

Petrovietnam's investment arm, Petrovietnam Investment and Development Company (PIDC), now holds a 40 percent stake in the project and the remaining 25 percent belongs to Algeria's state oil and gas company Sonatrach.

A PIDC official in Hanoi said the joint-venture agreement for the two blocks, around 50 kilometers from Hassi Messaoud, a large oil field in southeast Algeria, was subject to final approval from the Algerian government.

"This is a very important project for us," he said, adding that under the deal Petrovietnam would transfer the 35 percent stake to the Thai firm to share the risk in the project and that no money was involved.

PIDC, the main operator of the two blocks during the exploration phase, is poised to complete a two-dimensional acquisition survey by next month and plans to drill at least two appraisal wells early next year.