Sonatrach says Algeria tops Arab investment league table
Sonatrach said April 18 that Algeria had topped an Arab regional ranking for investment in new oil and gas discoveries during the first quarter of 2022.
The national oil company cited data from the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Companies. Investments in Algeria relate to three new discoveries that mainly comprise oil: Zemlet el Arbi, West of Aqla Al-Nasser 2 and Al-Nasser 2.
Sonatrach benefited in March from a successful oil and associated gas appraisal at the Eni-operated Zemlet el Arbi. The HDLE-1 well encountered a 26-m net pay column with "excellent petrophysical characteristics," and flowed 5mn ft3 of associated gas during testing. Eni holds a 49% equity stake in Zemlet el Arbi, while Sonatrach has 51% interest.
Further appraisal wells with potential to unlock gas reserves at Sonatrach-backed projects are scheduled later this year. The programme was expected to kick off this month with the HDLE-2 well, a 50-50 joint venture between Eni and Sonatrach. Eni has selected targets with connections to existing gas processing infrastructure, allowing them to be brought on stream faster.
Algeria's upstream sector also saw buoyant growth in 2021. Net production to Sonatrach increased by 5% last year, with exports rising 18%. It praised the performance as surpassing expectations given the global pandemic and the implications of COVID-19 for the international economy.