Algeria to Ink Partnerships with Shell, Exxon on Shale Gas

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DUBAI - Algerian state-run oil company Sonatrach will soon sign partnership agreements with Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Exxon Mobil Corp. on shale gas exploration in the north African country, the firm's chief executive, Abdelhamid Zerguine, said in remarks published Thursday.

The new partnerships will be similar to the agreements signed earlier with Italy's Eni SpA and Canada's Talisman Energy Inc., Mr. Zerguine said, according to the official Algerie Presse Service, or APS.

The country has an estimated 600 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas reserves yet to be developed, according to a recent study conducted by Sonatrach, he said.

APS didn't give any further details on the deals. Shell declined to comment.

Last year, Eni said it signed a cooperation agreement for the development of unconventional oil, with particular focus on shale gas, adding that it confirms the country has significant shale gas reserves it wishes to explore and develop with Sonatrach.

Algeria has previously said it will amend its hydrocarbons law before the end of the year to attract more foreign investment to help it develop potentially big reserves of non-conventional resources. 


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