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  • Felix Tsourakis

Everything you need to know about Algeria in 2019

Updated: Mar 19, 2019

It is well-known that Algeria is one of the most important countries in the oil & gas industry globally. They are Africa’s leading natural gas producer and they possess the third-largest oil reserves in the region, even with only one-third of the country adequately explored.

Algeria has taken active steps in recent years to ensure its optimal relationship with existing partners and the realization of the country’s immense hydrocarbon potential.

What makes Algeria so attractive to IOCS?

Algeria has a history of being the most attractive country oil & gas market for a unique set of important reasons:

  • Large unconventional hydrocarbons deposits, with its shale gas reserves ranking among the three largest in the world

  • Vast deposits of gas, with only one-third of the country explored

  • Booming oil industry, with Sonatrach developing into the strongest regional company

  • Great geographical location in the Mediterranean with several onshore and offshore blocks available in prominent locations

  • ALNAFT’s ethic of treating investing companies as partners and maintaining excellent relationships

  • The Maghreb-Europe, Medgaz and Trans-Mediterranean pipelines make Algeria Europe’s most prominent gas supplier, and Africa’s energy node

  • Large investments in the oil & gas sector, with early adoption of new technologies, upgraded facilities and techniques.

Algeria's oil & gas leadership

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ALNAFT is co-organising the official Algeria Oil & Gas Summit

Algeria’s booming oil & gas industry is overlooked and maintained by the national agency for the development of hydrocarbon resources of Algeria (ALNAFT). ALNAFT has the mission of overseeing Algeria’s significant hydrocarbon development and exploitation. Meet Arezki Hocini, President of ALNAFT, here.

ALNAFT is responsible for:

  • Evaluating the hydrocarbon production sector by carrying out basin studies,

  • Promoting investments in exploration and production,

  • Managing and updating the database on hydrocarbon exploration and production

Investing in Algeria

When a company wants to benefit from Algeria’s significant resources, ALNAFT is the optimal point of contact, as they are in charge of organizing and calling tenders for exploration and production in Algeria. They grant prospecting authorisations to suitable applicants, including studying and approving E&P development plans to ensure their partners make the most out of their investment and with optimal conservation.

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ALNAFT maintains and develops Algeria's rich Seismic Database

ALNAFT is one of the country’s most prestigious bodies as it cooperates with the Ministry of Hydrocarbons on sectoral policy and the drafting of regulations governing hydrocarbon activities. They are excellently suited to the task, as they maintain constant communications with IOCs operating in the country and maintain the national database on hydrocarbons, giving them a bird’s eye view of the industry.

They use their optimal access to information to create a medium and long-term plan for the hydrocarbon sector, based on the plans of the operators and contractors, which the Ministry of Hydrocarbons uses to create new policies and plans.

Sonatrach: Africa's strongest company

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Mr Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, CEO of Sonatrach, is the man driving Sonatrach's 2030 strategy

Algeria has been leading the continent's oil & gas industry for more than 50 years, thanks to the work of its national oil company, Sonatrach. Sonatrach is the largest and most influential company in Africa, and one of the largest oil companies in the world. Over its 56 years of operation it has successfully diversified its activities covering all major aspects of production in upstream, midstream and downstream.

Sonatrach 2030

Many changes took place in the oil & gas industry in recent years, significantly affecting the landscape. Sonatrach adapts to the times by launching its new development strategy, Sonatrach 2030 (SH2030).

Sonatrach 2030 is aimed at succeeding the company’s vision of:

  • Becoming the 5th largest oil & gas company in the world

  • Create programs that generation value for Algeria’s national economic development and energy transition

  • Achieve a national integration rate of 55%, while further developing algerian technical expertise

The plan involves an in-depth redesign of how the company operates, systematically driving it towards optimising efficiency and value creation. This optimisation is possible through the turn to new technology for reducing costs and optimising outputs. Meet with Sonatrach in person and discover how to make the most out of this opportunity at the Algeria Oil & Gas Summit.

Generating opportunities by investing in exploration and production

Sonatrach is driven by a "resolute will" to access the country’s tremendous hydrocarbon potential, by doubling the prospecting and development of all onshore and offshore upstream activities. Sonatrach plans to explore 100,000 sq km of offshore acreage, a task that will require new investments and the development of new partnerships. Meet Sonatrach and ALNAFT and become their new partner here. This plan involves developing both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources.

Algeria's leading role in shale gas

Algeria has abundant untapped unconventional hydrocarbons, with its shale gas reserve being one of the three largest in the world, with at least 741 Tcf of total technical recoverable resources. In 2014, Sonatrach drilled its first shale gas pilot project in the Ahnet Basin. The well confirmed the existence of substantial reserves of shale gas in the Basin with Sonatrach estimating total reserves of 200,000 Bcm of gas in the basin, with more than 20,000 Bcm of recoverable gas accessible at the moment.

Sonatrach aims to produce 20 Bcm by 2030, reaching 70 Bcm by 2040. Large investments from one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world make the opportunities for operators more numerous than ever.

Renewable energy as fuel for Oil Production: Sonatrach’s revolution

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Sonatrach intends to use solar energy to power more than 80% of all oil & gas fields in Algeria

Sonatrach launched its first solar park on November 28, 2018 in Bir Rebaâ Nord. The electricity produced by the power plant will be used to supply the Bir Reaâ North oil field instead of natural gas produced in Algeria.

Sonatrach intends to use solar energy to power more than 80% of its fields, reducing the production costs significantly, and saving resources from the national reserve. This turn to renewable energy requires the participation of service providers and consultants from a variety of industries.

Algeria’s Oil Sector

Algeria has the third-largest oil reserves in Africa, with less than one-third of the country sufficiently explored. Many new opportunities are waiting to be discovered, and Sonatrach is expanding its investment, aiming to double its annual volumes of findings. Meet with ALNAFT and learn about the 41 available blocks this June at the Algeria Oil & Gas Summit.

Oil Production

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The Hassi Messaoud giant oil field has been a paragon of efficiency for more than 50 years

Algeria’s production is reported to be at 1,2 million barrels a day with many successful and highly-efficient oil fields in operation. The Hassi Messaoud super giant oil field has been in operation for more than 50 years, operating in peak productivity producing more than 470,000 barrels of oil. The Ourhoud oil field produces 125,000 barrels, operated by Sonatrach, Anadarko, Pertamina and Cepsa.

Both fields have seen impressive increases in production, with the country aiming to increase its output by 30% in 2020. With plans to dig more than 50 wells in both fields the opportunities for service providers are more numerous than ever. Sonatrach is investing $9 billion to increase oil production within the same time frame.

Algeria's booming gas sector

Algeria is Africa’s leading gas producer, possessing vast reserves of conventional and unconventional gas. They export vast quantities of gas to Europe constantly, making it the most reliable supplier of Europe’s energy resources.

“Algeria has numerous successful gas fields”

The In Amenas Gas Project is the largest wet gas development project in Algeria, producing 9 bil cubic meter per year and 50,000 barrels of condensate per year. It is a beacon of international cooperation, being the product of the very successful joint venture between Sonatrach, BP and Statoil. In recent years, the joint venture invested in further developing the In Tiguentourine gas field, upgrading its facilities, and production to 8.8 billion cubic metres of gas per year.

At the same time, the Hassi Farida, Hassi Ouan Taredert and Hassi Ouan Abecheu fields are in various states of optimal production and updates.

Currently, Sonatrach is investing in expanding the In Amenas Gas Project, in order to improve the recovery of wet gas, and keep operating in peak efficiency of 30 million cubic meters per day.

Another major source of gas is the Tin Fouye Tabankort gas field. producing over 80,000 barrels per day for the last 6 years. In 2018, Sonatrach, Total, Repsol and ALNAFT signed a new concession contract to extend production in the gas field for 25 years. Total will possess a 26.4% interest, Repsol 22.6% with Sonatrach possessing the rest.

The Alrar Gas Field has seen significant upgrades and investments in recent years. Within 5 years production increased from 16 cm/d to 24.7 cm/d, rising more than 50% cm/d.

You can learn about this success by Sonatrach at the Algeria Oil & Gas Summit. Register here.

One cannot discuss Algeria’s immense gas potential without mentioning Hassi R’Mel. Hassi R’Mel is currently the largest gas field in Algeria and one of the largest gas fields in the world. Its reserves are estimated to be 2.4 TCM, with probable reserves of 3 TCM. Sonatrach is employing cutting edge methods to keep a high reservoir pressure, with reinjection plans making significant progress.

Significant projects are underway at the Gassi Touil project, with 25 wells being connected to the Rhourde Nouss processing plan, creating a network of 7mcm per day, and 22 wells to the Gassi Touil plant, with a total production of 5.3 mcm per day.

Algeria: Europe's most reliable gas source

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Algeria is Europe's most reliable and prominent gas supplier through its advanced pipeline network and LNG carriers

Algeria is Europe’s third largest gas exporter, responsible for covering 14% of Europe’s energy needs, supplying more than 25 bcm annually. Its geographic position as an energy hub, and well-earned reputation status as a reliable and efficient partner make it the most attractive supplier for Europe, with many new deals in recent years. Algeria has honoured all its gas contracts with no interruptions in its pipeline activities.

Spain is the country’s most prominent importer, with Algeria covering more than half of its energy demand through two underwater pipelines. Last year, Sonatrach extended its gas deal with Fenosa, Spain’s Natural Gas company, by 12 years, in a $35 billion agreement. Sonatrach will supply 40% of Naturgy’s needs until 2030.

Italy is the second major importer of energy, receiving a constant flow of gas through the Trans-Mediterranean Pipeline, originating at the Hassi R’Mel field.

The rest of Europe receive LNG through a fleet of tankers and the extended network via Spain and Italy.

Algeria is the sixth-largest gas exporter in the world, upgrading its pipelines and exporting facilities constantly, investing millions annually to new partners. Meet Sonatrach and expand your business in Algeria on 17-19 June 2019 at the Algeria Oil & Gas Summit.

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