A technical meeting was held on 28 April at Gazprom International’s office in Saint-Petersburg, to discuss the results of exploratory and appraisal drilling at the El Assel license area in Algeria.
The meeting covered the results of exploration works carried out in line with the contract that Gazprom International signed with Algerian State Oil and Gas Corporation Sonatrach back in 2009.
The specialists of the Saint Petersburg and Moscow branches of the company, as well as employees of Gazprom International office in Algeria, were present at the meeting.
It was noted that Gazprom International, acting as operator from 2009 to 2016 during the three consecutive stages of exploration, has fulfilled its contractual commitments to the Algerian party. During this period of time, the following activities have been carried out at the El Assel license area, including, among others: 200 line kilometers of 2D seismic exploration, 3,098 square kilometers of 3D seismic exploration, the drilling of nine exploration and appraisal wells (with the combined depth of 41,423 meters). As the result of the exploration activities, four oil and gas condensate fields have been discovered and appraised (the Zemlet Er-Rekkeb, Zemlet Er- Rekkeb Nord, Rhourde Sayah and Rhourde Sayah North fields).
The participants of the meeting have given a positive evaluation to the planning and organization system in place, and gave special commendation to the achieved downtime reduction during drilling, as well as the success of various events aimed at ensuring industrial security, safety and guaranteeing environmental protection.
The next step in developing the cooperation between Gazprom International and Sonatrach will be the process of further planning, as well as the approval and adoption of the technical and economic study and feasibility assessment, as well as further development of the fields discovered at the El Assel license area.
Gazprom and Sonatrach, the Algerian State Oil and Gas Corporation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2006, agreeing on the directions of further cooperation in the field of oil and gas.
Gazprom International and ALNAFT, the Algerian National Agency for the Valorization of Hydrocarbon Resources, signed a contract in 2009 to jointly explore and produce hydrocarbons on the El Assel onshore license area. The El Assel project is being realized as a joint venture in partnership with Sonatrach, Gazprom International acting as operator. Gazprom International is a wholly owned subsidiary of PAO Gazprom, specializing in implementing upstream-projects outside the Russian Federation. It currently owns a 49% share of the project, with the remaining 51% belonging to Sonatrach.
The El Assel licensed area is located in the Berkine Basin, which lies 150 km to the south-east of the town of Hassi Messaoud, the country’s oil production centre.
Proven reserves of liquid hydrocarbons in this North African country have been estimated at 12.2 bln b.o.e. (or 1.7 bln tons) in 2014. Algeria’s proven natural gas reserves have been estimated at 4.6 trillion cubic meters. There is also data available to support an estimate of further 20 trillion cubic meters of shale gas. Main proven hydrocarbon reserves are located in the country’s central and eastern regions.