On March 18, in the Algerian Branch office of Gazprom International, Gazprom’s sole specialised company for prospecting, exploration, and development of hydrocarbon fields outside the Russian Federation, the regular, 20th meeting of the El Assel Project Operating Committee took place.
The Operating Committee was attended by representatives of the parties – the Algerian State Oil and Gas Corporation Sonatrach and Gazprom International, which is the operator of the project during the exploration phase.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the current status of the project, considered the summary of the results for 2014, agreed on the drilling program of the first delineation well RSHN-2 within the framework of the delineation program of Rhourde Sayah North (RSHN) field, and approved the terms of the audit of expenses for 2014.
Since 2009, Gazprom International has been carrying out an exploratory project of the El Assel area in the east of Algeria. The company’s share in the project is 49%. 51% of shares belong to the Algerian State Oil and Gas Corporation Sonatrach.
After carrying out substantial 3D and 2D seismic acquisition, this data, combined with the seismic data of previous years, has been processed and interpreted; based on this, a total of 6 exploration and delineation wells have been drilled.
In September 2014, a new oil and gas field, Rhourde Sayah North was discovered as a result of the drilling of the exploration well RSHN-1, which is 4120 meters deep. During the exploration phase in the contract area, the Sonatrach - Gazprom International association discovered further two fields as a result of drilling the exploration wells, RSH-2 and ZERN-1. Presently, the company is drilling its next delineation well, ZERN-2 in the east of Algeria, in addition to drafting the development plan of Zemlet Er-Rekkeb – Zemlet Er-Rekkeb South (ZER – ZERS) fields.
Based on proved natural gas reserves (4.58 trillion m³), Algeria is the second richest country in Africa, after Nigeria (5.15 trillion m³). The gas reserves are concentrated in the central and eastern regions of the country.