The fourteenth scheduled meeting of the working committee on the El Assel project in the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria was held last week in the offices of Gazprom International in Algiers.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the project’s participants – the Algerian state oil-and-gas company Sonatrach, and Gazprom International, Gazprom’s single specialist enterprise for the implementation of foreign upstream projects.
The members of the working committee discussed progress in the implementation of the geological prospecting programme, approved the totals for administering the project's budget for 2012, and considered further steps connected to the implementation of the oil-and-gas contract.
It was noted in particular during the meeting that the project operator (Gazprom International) had discharged its contractual obligations in full in relation to the second phase of the geological prospecting period. Besides this, the committee examined the results of the construction of the ZERN exploratory well, measures aimed at restoring well sites, the preliminary results of the processing of seismic data, and approved the plan for the delineation of the Northern Zemlet Er-Rekkeb deposit.
The El Assel licensed area is located in the Berkine oil-and-gas basin. The geological exploration period comprises three phases during which the operator is required to perform seismic exploration work, drill five exploratory wells and, if potentially commercial hydrocarbon reserves are discovered, carry out a programme to delineate the discoveries made.
Following the construction of the RSH-2 and ZERN-1 exploratory wells in 2010 and 2012, two new hydrocarbon deposits were discovered at the area. The Zemlet Er-Rekkeb deposit was discovered here previously.
Gazprom International joined the El Assel project, a 51% share in which is held by Sonatrach, in early 2009. The Russian company’s share amounts to 49%.
To implement this project, Gazprom International set up a branch in the capital of Algeria and opened an operating office in Hassi Messaoud.
The working committee is the supreme management body of the Sonatrach - Gazprom International association, which determines the areas of focus and monitors the operator’s activities.