Algeria: record investments by US companies in the gas sector

Algeria: record investments by US companies in the gas sector
Algeria: record investments by US companies in the gas sector

American energy giants are eyeing Algeria, Italy’s main gas supplier. Major companies in the hydrocarbon sector have recently started huge investments in oil and gas prospecting in Algeria, with the aim of doubling the country’s gas production and reaching 200 billion cubic meters in the medium term: this would further strengthen the Algeria’s role as a key supplier actor for Europe. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Algerian gas has become an increasingly important source of energy for the Old Continent, with a notable increase in exports. For the second time in less than a month, Algeria’s national oil company, Sonatrach, sold extraction rights to an American company. On May 23, Sonatrach signed an agreement with ExxonMobil for oil exploration, followed by an agreement with Chevron for the development of Ahnat fields in Wilaya. (province) from Illizi, and from Berkine, in the wilaya of Ouargla. These agreements mark the entry of ExxonMobil and Chevron into the Algerian market.

The CEO of Sonatrach, Rachid Hachichi, stated that these collaborations open new perspectives for the Algerian energy sector, demonstrating a common desire to responsibly and sustainably manage the natural resources of the African country, a member of the OPEC+ oil cartel. The Minister of Energy and Mines, Mohamed Arkab, recently stated that Algeria aims to produce 200 billion cubic meters of natural gas for export, with daily crude oil production reaching one million barrels. In May 2023, Sonatrach announced a $2.3 million agreement with the American company Baker Hughes and the Italian company Tecnimon for the development of the country’s largest natural gas field, Hassi R’Mel. The project includes the construction of three compressor plants and the adaptation of the existing gas collection network, and is expected to be completed within a period of 39 months. In July 2022, Sonatrach had signed a $4 million contract with the American company Occidental Petroleum, in partnership with Eni and Total Energies, for the development of the Berkine contractual area. (Uargla).

Strengthen the role of Algeria As a reliable supplier in the global gas market, Sonatrach signed other strategic agreements in 2023 and early 2024. These include an agreement with the British company Grain LNG to expand its long-term storage and delivery capabilities for liquefied natural gas. (LNG) in the company’s terminal, starting in January 2029, with a capacity of 125 gigawatt hours per day, equivalent to 3 million tons of LNG per year.

Two strategic agreements Agreements were signed with the Italian group Eni to increase gas supply, for the energy transition and decarbonization. Several projects are also being discussed with Italy, such as expanding gas transport capacity, laying a new gas pipeline to transport natural gas and, alternatively, blue and green hydrogen and ammonia, as well as laying a submarine . electric cable and the expansion of the existing natural gas liquefaction capacity. Another medium-term gas supply contract was signed with the German company Vng Handel & Vertrieb GmbH, based in Leipzig. All these agreements demonstrate that Algeria is trying to strengthen its strategic position in the global energy panorama, attracting international investments and increasing its production capacity.

in 2023, Algeria’s natural gas production reached 136 billion cubic meters, up from 132.7 billion cubic meters in 2022, of which more than 52 billion cubic meters were destined for export. The production of liquefied natural gas was 22.5 billion cubic meters, delivered to the Arzew and Skikda complexes, with a production of 13 million tons of LNG. In addition, the production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was 9.4 million tons and that of condensate was 8.3 million tons. Algeria has three oil ports (Arzew, Bejaia and Skikda) with a transport capacity of 1.3 million tons and four gas liquefaction complexes (three in Arzew and one in Skikda) with a total capacity of 55 million cubic meters. year. The distribution network includes a 21,190 kilometer long pipeline system, with 43 pipelines equipped with 85 pumping and compression stations, capable of transporting 406 million tons of oil equivalent per year, of which 140 million cubic meters of gas natural. In addition, Algeria has a fleet of 17 vessels, including LNG carriers, LPG vessels and oil tankers, and two intercontinental gas pipelines: the “Enrico Mattei” Transmediterranean Oil Pipeline (TransMed), which connects Algeria with Italy through Tunisia, and the Medgaz . , which connects Beni Saf with Almería, Spain.

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