The 19th meeting of the Operating Committee on the El Assel project was held on December 21st, 2014 in the office of Gazprom International Branch in Algeria, Gazprom’s global company, dedicated to foreign upstream projects.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the project participants – the Algerian state oil-and-gas corporation Sonatrach and Gazprom International, which is acting as the operator during the exploration phase.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the current state of the project implementation, reviewed the work results of 2014 and approved the work program and budget for 2015. It was noted in particular that the operator had fulfilled the entire of its contractual obligations in the framework of the third exploration phase. Also the Rhourde Sayah North (RSHN) discovery delineation program was approved, and the location for the first delineation well (RHSN-2) in this field was confirmed.
As a result of the project implementation in 2014, one exploratory and two delineation wells were drilled and tested, and the 12,560-meter drilling plan was completed in its entirety. New Rhourde Sayah North (RSHN) field was discovered after production tests of the RSHN-1 exploratory well. The Zemlet Er Rekkeb – Zemlet Er Rekkeb Sud (ZER-ZERS) field joint development plan is under preparation.
Gazprom International has been involved in a project in the El Assel contract area in eastern Algeria since 2009. The company is the project operator and has a 49% share. Sonatrach owns 51%.
Significant 3D and 2D seismic acquisition has been made under the exploration program, such data and past seismic data have been processed and interpreted, also six exploration and appraisal wells have been drilled.
The new Rhourde Sayah North field was identified in the block in September. The deposit was discovered as the result of drilling the RSHN-1 exploratory well to a depth of 4120 meters. During previous exploration in the contract area, the Sonatrach - Gazprom International Association discovered two deposits based on drilling results from the RSH-2 and ZERN-1 explorating wells. The company is now completing drilling of the next appraisal well: ZERN-2.
Algeria has the second largest natural gas reserves in Africa (4.58 trillion m3), after Nigeria (5.15 trillion m3). Most of the hydrocarbon reserves are concentrated in the central and eastern parts of the country.