Algeria to Focus Next Year on Mature Oilfields

Source: Reuters 11/16/2015, Location: Africa

Algeria will focus next year on maximising output at its mature fields and seek out foreign partners with the technology to explore offshore opportunities as part of its strategy to increase output, a senior energy official said.

The North African OPEC producer has struggled to increase oil and gas production and attract foreign oil investment in recent auctions. Last month, it postponed another energy bidding round because the slump in oil prices.

Sonatrach state energy company Vice President Salah Mekmouche told local El Khabar newspaper the company would focus next year on developing more from older fields like Hassi Massoud, Hasi Berkine, and Illizi southwest and east.

"We will orientate around areas that are already well developed, those efforts will be on optimising the mature fields," he told the newspaper on Monday.

He said national production of oil and gas was expected to close 2015 at around 190 million tonnes of oil equivalent.

Algeria's energy output peaked at 233 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2007, before steadily declining to 187 million tonnes by 2012. But the government sees hydrocarbon output reaching 224 million tonnes of oil equivalent by 2019.

Mekmouche said the third train at the In Amenas gas plant -- which produced 11 percent of Algeria's gas before a 2013 attack by Islamists militants -- would be back in operation in the first part of next year. That would bring its gas production from 16 million cubic meters a day to 20 million.

In a bid to counter declining earnings because of the oil price slump, Sonatrach will also take steps to reduce production costs at oil and gas fields. He said the company was in talks with its foreign partners to reduce service costs.

Sonatrach will next year resume exploration operations in Niger where it has halted activities in 2014 after the expiration of a production-sharing contract. He said Sonatrach is also ready to carry out operations in countries such as Mozambique, Ghana, South Africa and Egypt.

For more information about related Opportunities and Key Players visit Algeria Oil and Gas Projects


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