Sonatrach, Algeria’s state oil and gas corporation, plans to invest over $50 billion in exploration and production projects in the country over the next five years, according to reports by Algerian Press Service (APS), the state information agency, citing Sonatrach’s Vice President for Exploration and Production Salah Mekmouche.
As reported by APS, Sonatrach’s representative noted that this investment plan seeks to increase the country’s oil and gas reserves and production capacities.
The plan includes drilling over 1.300 wells between 2017 and 2021 and reaching an annual production rate of nearly 230 million tonnes of oil equivalent. Algeria’s oil and gas production rate per year is currently at 190-200 million tonnes of oil equivalent on average.
In March 2017, against a backdrop of the reduction in hydrocarbon production volumes and decreased revenues from hydrocarbon sales, the government of Algeria appointed Hocini Arezki as the acting head of Alnaft, the National agency for the development of hydrocarbon resources, and Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour as head of Sonatrach. Mr. Ould Kaddour is the sixth person to lead the company since 2010.
Algeria is a leading natural gas producer and one of the top three oil producers in Africa.
The key partner of Gazprom International in Algeria is Sonatrach, the country’s state oil and gas corporation. It is Africa’s largest enterprise and its activities include hydrocarbon prospecting, exploration, production, transportation and refining.
Since 2009, Gazprom International (49%) and Sonatrach (51%) have been working together on a project at the El Assel licence block in the Berkine oil and gas basin located in the east of Algeria. The companies have discovered four oil and gas fields that are currently being prepared for development.
As of 2015, the country’s proved liquid hydrocarbon reserves were estimated at 12.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent (1.7 billion tonnes) and nearly 6 billion barrels (840 million tonnes) of technically recoverable shale oil. Algeria’s proved natural gas reserves are estimated at approximately 4.6 trillion cubic meters, and another 1.4 trillion cubic meters are considered as undiscovered.
Algeria’s main hydrocarbon reserves are concentrated in the central and eastern regions of the country.