Sonatrach is on the right track

On the sidelines of the mid-July signing of a $4 billion gas agreement, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune reassured “[his] friend” Mario Draghi, now former President of the Italian Council of Ministers. Algeria, whose natural gas reserves amount to nearly 2,400 billion m3, wants to be “one of the European suppliers of electricity, solar and conventional energy”.

The country has reviewed its ambitions to meet the energy needs of the European Union, the antithesis of Russia, a historic supplier of gas to the Old Continent. But, above all, to surf on the volatility of hydrocarbon prices and breathe new life into the Algerian economy, which is ultra-dependent on its oil and gas industry.

Power 3

In a press release issued on July 25, the Sonatrach group announced that it had made two discoveries of gas, “by its own means”, and a third, of oil, in collaboration with its Italian partner Eni.

In the Illizi basin, located in the south-east of the country, the drilling of the “In Ekker Sud West-1” exploration well revealed an overall flow estimated at 513,000 m3/day of gas and 45 m3/day of condensate during the first tests. Regarding the “Tamzaia-3” delimitation well, in the Béchar basin, located at the northwestern limit of the Sahara, the Algerian major explains – without giving figures – that it has obtained “interesting gas production”.

Committed to increasing the production of hydrocarbons, Sonatrach and Eni have started drilling the “RODW-1” well, the third of the exploration campaign launched in the northern region of the Berkine basin. The two partners thus identified 1,300 barrels of oil and 51,000 m3 of associated gas per day. Its production, like that of the “In Ekker Sud West-1” well, will soon be commissioned via a “fast-track” development, adds the Algerian public group.

Italian connection

Recently, Algiers announced that it had increased the volume of its gas deliveries to Rome via Transmed, the gas pipeline linking Algeria to Italy, via Tunisia. Since the beginning of the year, 13.9 billion cubic meters of gas have been delivered to the Italian capital, an increase of 113% compared to 2021.

With the renegotiation of supply contracts and the exploration of new markets, the Algerian authorities expect a considerable increase in exports to meet the ever-increasing world demand. “The volume of liquefied gas exports could reach 22 million m3 during the current financial year,” Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab said in early July.