Algeria Awards Exploration License Blocks

Algeria has awarded five licenses to international companies to explore for oil and gas in an effort to accelerate investment in its upstream industry.

All five blocks awarded in the country's second exploration round were located in the central-eastern Berkine basin, where about five billion barrels of oil have been discovered in the last five years.

All five blocks in Berkine were awarded to companies already investing in Algeria. Anadarko won Block 406b for the second time after Sonatrach cancelled its earlier award in February after the U.S. firm asked to modify contractual terms. Burlington Resources was awarded Block 402d. Repsol won rights to explore Block 401d. Canadian First Calgary Petroleums Ltd won Block 405b and TotalFinaElf acquired the 432/444S/403N block.

Winning companies are obliged to drill 1-2 exploration wells and 1-2 appraisal wells, in addition to 300-500 km of two-dimensional seismic and 100 square km of three-dimensional seismic surveys.