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E.ON Finds Oil, Gas on Algeria Permit-Sonatrach

Source: Reuters 11/9/2011, Location: Africa

Exploratory drilling on an Algerian permit operated by E.ON Ruhrgas (EONGn.DE) has discovered reserves of oil and natural gas, Algerian state energy firm Sonatrach said. The discovery was made at an exploratory well in the Rhourde Yacoub field. E.ON acquired a stake in the permit in a bid round concluded in 2009. It is operator and holds 49 percent, while Sonatrach holds the remaining stake.

"This discovery confirms the potential for hydrocarbons in this permit, which the parties to the contract plan to develop jointly once work has been completed to establish the extent (of the reserves)," Sonatrach said in a statement.

Algeria, an OPEC member and a major supplier of gas to Europe, had so far announced no major oil and gas finds this year. Energy officials say they plan to speed up exploration efforts to replace the mature fields that account for most of the country's production.

However, this plan has been hampered by the reluctance of international oil companies to buy into Algerian oil permits. Analysts say many foreign majors are put off by financial terms that are not sufficiently attractive.

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