The fifteenth meeting of the working committee on the El-Assel project in the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria took place on 24 September at Gazprom International's offices in Algiers.
Representatives of this 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 - took part in the committee's proceedings.
The parties discussed the progress of work on the project, the programme of activities and the budget for 2014. It was therefore noted in particular that Gazprom International had fully discharged its contractual obligations regarding seismic survey work under the third phase of the geological exploration period. The high quality of the well-site reclamation work performed by Gazprom International in the El-Assel area was also noted.
The El Assel license area is located in the Berkine oil-and-gas basin and consists of three blocks with a total initial area of 3250 km². The geological exploration period, according to the contract conditions, 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.
Gazprom International entered the project for the exploration and development of hydrocarbons in the El-Assel area in early 2009, with a 49% share. The remaining 51% is owned by Sonatrach. To implement this project, Gazprom International set up a branch in the capital of Algeria and opened an operating office in Hassi Messaoud.
Following the construction of the RSH-2 and ZERN-1 exploratory wells in 2010 and 2012, two new hydrocarbon deposits were consequently discovered at the area. The Zemlet Er-Rekkeb deposit had been discovered here previously.
The working committee is the supreme management body of the Sonatrach - Gazprom International association, which determines areas of focus and monitors the operator’s activities.