Sonatrach & Parnters Make New Discovery in the Berkine Basin

Sonatrach, Anadarko Petroleum and partners Maersk Olie Algeriet AS and Eni Oil Algeria Limited report another exploration success in Algeria's prolific Berkine Basin.

The latest discovery, the BKNE-AAC-A well, which lies within the Berkine North East field exploitation license area, follows earlier successes in Block 404 with Hassi Berkine North East (HBNE-1) and Sif Fatima South West (SFSW-1) and, more recently, the Sif Fatima South West appraisal well (SFSW-2), which was completed this month.

BKNE-AAC-A was drilled to a total depth of 11,200 feet and encountered 36 feet of net oil pay in the Upper TAGI formation. It was tested at a stabilized flow rate of 3,400 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) of 40 degree API crude oil on a 40/64-inch choke, with a wellhead pressure of 620 pounds per square inch absolute (psia).

Previously, SFSW-2 was drilled to a total depth of 10,840 feet and confirmed the extension of the field. It also encountered a new pay zone in overlying TAGS sands. A number of test options are currently being evaluated. Earlier test rates reported for the SFSW-1 and HBNE-1 discovery wells were 2,689 BOPD and 4,092 BOPD respectively.

"We are delighted by our continuing trend of exploration successes in the Berkine Basin, which confirms the significant potential and opportunity for growth that lies in this region. We have drilled a total of seven exploratory wells in Algeria since our exploration drilling program resumed in September 2002, and we plan to drill two more by year end, both in Block 404. In addition, we are planning an aggressive appraisal program next year," said Tony Meyer, Anadarko Vice President, International and Alaska Operations.

"Using advanced interpretation techniques on 3D seismic data volumes, coupled with a good understanding of reservoir development, we have been able to successfully identify and pursue subtle targets," he added.

Anadarko has been operating in Algeria since the late 1980s and is the largest foreign oil producer in the country. Over the last 10 years, Anadarko, together with its partners, has found 14 fields in Algeria with reserves totaling more than 2 billion barrels of oil.