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Algeria Press Service

Current exchange rate Algerian Dinar|23/04/2017

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27/04/2017 14:04

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Wednesday, 26 April 2017 13:38

Drilling of oil well launched in Tiaret

TIARET – Minister of Energy Nouredine Bouterfa has launched Tuesday the drilling of an oil well in Sirghine, in Tiaret (268 west of Algiers).

 The well located in the northern part of Algeria has recently been discovered. It will be operated by Sonatrach and two firms American and Spanish.

The project follows a geological survey of the region of Boughzoul, over an area of 1,300 km2 which includes six other wells.

Sonatrach group director for explorations Youcef Khanfar said that the northern part of the country remained underexploited in the field of hydrocarbons, adding that since the colonial period, only 100 wells have been explored.

The outcomes of this drilling will be announced within 90 days, adding that this is the second drilling which allowed the finding of oil in the region of Rahouia. This project will be exploitable five months later if the finding is confirmed, said the official who said that the drilling has a depth of 3,000 meters.

Vice-president of Sonatrach in charge of exploitation and exploration, Salah Mekmouche, told the press that the $16 million project is a partnership between national oil group, Spanish company REPSOl and American SHELL under 51/49 rule.

Published in ECONOMY

ALGIERS- National hydrocarbon company Sonatrach and French company Total signed Monday, in Algiers, a “global agreement aimed at strengthening the partnership existing between the two companies,” said Sonatrach in a communiqué.

The agreement was signed by the CEO of Sonatrach Abdelmoumen Ould  Kaddour and CEO of Total Patrick Pouyanne.    

This agreement will allow Sonatrach and Total to “grow their partnership through the implementation of new projects in the upstream oil sector, notably the new contractual framework for the project Timimoun, the continuation of the joint exploitation of the field of Tin Fouyé Tabankort, as part of a new agreement, the development of a new project as well as the friendly settlement of disagreements between the two companies,” said the source.

The agreement is also meant to “expand cooperation in the other activities, notably the exploration, petrochemistry and solar energy,” said Sonatrach.

This agreement “confirms the willingness of Sonatrach and Total to work together for the development and strengthening of their historic partnership,” added the communiqué.

Published in ECONOMY

ORAN- The national hydrocarbon company SONATRACH will invest more than US$50 billion from 2017 to 2021 in exploration projects and production, said Wednesday in Oran the vice president of the oil group for exploration and production activity, Salah Meknouche.

In a presentation, read on his behalf by Farid Djettou, head of the company's associations division, as part of NAPEC 2017, Meknouche said "despite uncertainties over evolution of global oil prices, Sonatrach intends to invest more than US$50 billion from 2017 to 2021."

This ambitious investment plan aims at increasing the national reserves and production capacity, he said.

For the five coming years, Sonatrach has set ambitious objectives, in line with the new dynamics for the development of the group, announced the same official.

He added that US$40 billion have been devoted for the development of oil and gas fields, with the aim to increase primary output of all the group's products.

Over 1,300 drillings are expected to be achieved during that period, to progressively reach 230 million tonnes oil equivalent by 2021.

Published in ECONOMY

ALGIERS- Minister of Energy Noureddine Boutarfa on Monday chaired a Sonatrach Borad of Directors' meeting and installed Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour as chief executive officer of the national oil group in replacement of Amine Mazouzi, the ministry of Energy said in a statement.

The minister of Energy called the new CEO of Sonatrach "to act responsibly and with full confidence to make quality changes allowing Sonatrach to evolve and flourish in a good business climate, conducive to initiative taking and decision making," the statement said.

He also invited the CEO and the top executives of Sonatrach "to show an unfailing commitment to preserving the group's interests and managerial practices to allow it to adapt to changes."




Published in ECONOMY

ALGIERS- Hydrocarbon primary production hit 32.6 million tonne oil equivalent (TOE) over the first two months of 2017, i.e. up by 4 percent compared with the same period in 2016, said the national hydrocarbon company SONATRACH in its latest report.

An additional oil production capacity of 110,000 barrels a day is currently available, but it has not been produced in accordance with the OPEC accord, said the source.

An additional volume of 4 billion cubic metres of gas per year is also available and ready to be exported as soon as the GR6 pipeline project is completed (by May 2017).

Hydrocarbon exports amounted to 17.9 million TOEs between January and February 2017, up by 7 percent compared with the same period a year earlier.

Natural gas output hit 22.4 billion m3, up by 6 percent compared with late February 2016, while crude oil production reached 8.13 million tonnes, up by 3 percent compared with late February 2016, added the source.

Published in ECONOMY

OUARGLA (Algeria)- National hydrocarbon group Sonatrach and Italian oil company ENI laid Saturday the foundation stone of a 10-megawatt photovoltaic power plant project in Bir Rebaa, Ouargla (800-km southeast of Algiers), planned to be operational from December 2017.

The chief executive officer of Sonatrach, Amine Mazouzi, and the ECO of ENI, Claudio Descalzi, laid together the foundation stone of the photovoltaic plan, which is due to meet part of the electricity needs of Bir Rebaa Nord's oil field, run by the symposium Sonatrach-Agip (a subsidiary of ENI).   

The plant, to stretch over an area of 20 hectares adjoining the oil field, will use nearly 32,000 solar panels.

It will make it possible to save the equivalent of six million m3 of gas per year.


Published in ECONOMY
Saturday, 04 March 2017 17:09

Sonatrach funds huge reforestation project

ALGIERS- Sonatrach and the General Management of Forests (DGF) inked Saturday, in Algiers, an agreement under which the oil group will finance the purchase of more than 530,000 trees intended for a huge reforestation project through twenty provinces. 

The agreement was signed by Sonatrach's Human Resources Supervisor Assia Benkherief and the General Director of Forests Abdelmalek Abdelfattah.

The oil company will finance the purchase of trees valued at DZD32 million, while the DGF will run carry out the reforestation project with the participation of the members of social groups.

Launched early 2017, the project will run until late March.

The project consists in the planting of different types of trees in national parks and dams.

The provinces concerned by the project are Chlef, Laghouat, Batna, Bejaia, Bouira, Tlemcen, Tiaret, Tizi-Ouzou, Alger Jijel, Setif, Skikda, Constantine, Mostaganem ,Oran, Boumerdes, El Tarf, Tissemsilt, Tipaza and Ain Defla.





Published in ECONOMY

ALGIERS- The Minister of Industry and Mining Abdessalem Bouchouareb announced Thursday, in Algiers, that Sonatrach group and the Saudi company SABIC reached, Wednesday, a partnership agreement in the sector of petrochemistry.

A delegation of the SABIC should arrive to Algiers next week for the signing of a memorandum of understanding and start the elaboration of an action plan over the next six months, said the minister.

Sonatrach received a favourable response to its request for the start of the study of the project planned between the two parties.

The minister dubbed the agreement a strong sign for the development of economic relations between the two countries, called to be raised to the level of political relations.

The memorandum of understanding focuses on three projects in the sector of petrochemistry able to open up promising prospects in terms of production, exchange of expertise, knowledge, and long-term technologies, he added.

Published in ECONOMY

ALGIERS- Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said Thursday that the creation, in 1989, of a London-based Sonatrach's subsidiary for marketing gas to European countries was motivated by the important profit margin, the supply deficit and imports capacity.

In reply to an oral question at the Council of the Nation (upper house of Parliament), read on his behalf by Minister for Relations with Parliament Ghania Eddalia, the premier said the Sonatrach Petrolier Corporation (SPC), a Sonatrach's subsidiary based in the British capital, was created in line with the national strategy for the marketing of oil and gas abroad. 

The London-based facility is mainly intended for marketing and shipping of hydrocarbons, Sellal said in reply to a question on the purpose for the creation of Sonatrach's subsidiary in UK's capital.

"It purchases oil products for Sonatrach to market them worldwide."

The subsidiary's fleet is made up of two giant tanks: Reggane and Djanet, with a capacity of 84,000 m3 each, and three others, namely Adrar, Ghoud Enouss and Hassi Messaoud, with an average capacity reaching 59,000 m3 each.

The SPC also has a crude oil carrier with a capacity of two million barrels, according to the prime minister.




Published in ECONOMY

 ALGIERS- The latest remarks of a manager of GRTgaz (a subsidiary of the French company Engie) referring to a disruption in Algeria gas supply to the south-western region of France are "speculative," said Thursday in Algiers CEO of Sonatrach, Amine Mazouzi.

 "We have heard neither Sonatrach nor Engie speak about lack of commitment. This is third parties’ speculation. There was an unexpected cold spell (in Europe), which was caused by a very high demand (in gas). Algeria was a very reliable supplier and helped to fulfill a part of this European demand, "he said.

"This controversy which has been entirely fabricated doesn’t concern Sonatrach or Engie," he told a news conference held on the sidelines of the signing of two study contracts with Italian and Indian firms.

"Algeria is a reliable supplier of gas. We have honored all our commitments and responded to all the requests agreed upon between the two parties, particularly for January and even during the technical shutdown of Skikda liquefaction plant," Sonatrach boss said, pointing out that this plant restarted this Thursday.

This routine stoppage for maintenance works "was intended to last until February, but I now announce that Skikda plant (GNL K) just restarted today," he added.

Indeed, Sonatrach will continue to supply Engie with "more cargoes," the CEO announced.

However, Skikda plant technical stoppage did not cause any disturbance in supply to France, insisted


A manager of GRTgaz, quoted by a French media, reported a break in Algeria gas supply to southwestern France.

In this respect, a Sonatrach source recently told APS that the contractual quantities destined for this French region had been "totally used up" by the operator Engie (former  GDF Suez), due to the increase of consumption due to severe weather conditions in France.

Published in ECONOMY

ALGIERS- Sonatrach signed Thursday, in Algiers, a memorandum of agreement with the Italian company Versalis (subsidiary of Italian group ENI), and a contract with Indian company, Engineers India Limited (EIL), to carry out studies relating to petrochemical projects.

The memorandum of agreement with Versalis focuses on feasibility studies for the execution of petrochemical complexes in Algeria, and the strengthening of cooperation between the two companies in the field of petrochemistry.

The document was signed by the vice-president of the liquefaction, refining, and petrochemical activity of Sonatrach Akli Remini and the director general of Versalis Daniel Ferrari.

As for the contract signed with EIL, it is about studies and assistance for the rehabilitation of the ethylene unit at the CP1K complex of Skikda.

This contract was signed by Remini and the Executive Director of the Indian companies’ projects, Miraj Sethi.

Published in ECONOMY

LONDON- More than 32 hydrocarbon discoveries were made in 2016, said Chief Executive Officer of Sonatrach Amine Mazouzi in an interview published in the report Algeria 2016 of the British group of economic expertise Oxford Business Group (OBG).

Mazouzi underlined that Sonatrach has made more than 32 discoveries in 2016 against only 22 discoveries in 2015, noting that 70% of the group’s investments are devoted to search, exploration and development of deposits.

In addition to the renewal of oil and gas reserves, the investments of Sonatrach are devoted, among others, to the increase in production, development of deposits, gas liquefaction, refining and development of oil and gas products and finally marketing and exploration of new markets, he underlined.

Mazouzi also said that despite the drop in oil prices, Sonatrach maintains an “ambitious” investment programme of more than US$70 billion for the next five years in order to increase its reserves in Algeria and abroad, to ensure the country’s energy security and retain its reputation as a “reliable” exporter of primary hydrocarbons.

“For the execution of this investment programme, we will resort to self-financing. For petrochemistry projects, we will achieve them in partnership,” he underlined.

One of the group’s main missions is to ensure energy security of the national market, he said, underlining that his company has committed to developing three new refineries in the north of the country.

The commissioning of the first refinery is scheduled for 2020.

Sonatrach will recover its historic role as exporter of diesel oil and petrol as from 2019-2020, he said.



Published in ECONOMY

 ALGIERS- Group Sonatrach and the Higher Education and Scientific Research Ministry on Monday inked a framework agreement on research and development.

The document was signed by Sonatrach director for research and development Azzedine Adjeb, and General Director for Scientific Research and Technological Development at the Ministry Hafid Aourag.

The agreement will allow the exchange of scientific and technological expertise, the common implementation of projects of research, development and innovation and the pooling of resources such as laboratories, research teams and the joint organization of scientific events, said Sonatrach in a statement.

Last July, this public oil group signed framework agreements with the Ecole Nationale Polytechnique (the National Poly-technical School) and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Management (the National High School of Management).

 These framework agreements will help Sonatrach's subsidiaries to benefit from the expertise and resources of these two major schools, in particular in the field of research and development.

Published in ECONOMY

ALGIERS-Four amendments to contracts between Sonatrach and the National agency for the development of hydrocarbons resources on the research and exploitation of hydrocarbons have been adopted Wednesday by the Council of Ministers.

The amendment concluded on 24 October 2016 for a contract signed on 31 March 2011, which relates to 2 fields within the Rhoude-Fares perimeter, in addition to the amendment dated on 7 November 2016 to 5 contracts signed on 30 March 2011 relating to oil fields within Touggourt II, El Hadjira, Benguecha, Gassi touil and Rhoude Nouss perimeters.

As regards to the third amendment approved by the Council of Ministers, it was concluded on 28 November between Sonatrach and Alnaft to a contract inked on 30 June 2010 relating to three fields within Reggane Djbel Hirane perimeter.

The fourth amendment adopted by the Council of Ministers was concluded on 28 November 2016 to a contract signed on 26 February 2016 relating to addition of area overlapping the perimeters of Zerafa and Tinerkouk.

Published in ECONOMY
Wednesday, 28 December 2016 15:29

Algeria to locally process all oil output by 2025

ALGIERS- Algeria will be able to locally process all its crude oil production by 2025 thanks to the petrochemistry projects currently in construction and under study, said Minister of Energy Noureddine Boutarfa in an interview to Expression daily newspaper, released on Wednesday.

"If all our projects in the refinery and petrochemistry are completed, Algeria will be able to process all its crude oil production by 2025," explained Boutarfa, adding that the country will become then a "marginal exporter" of oil.

Those projects will help achieve a "quality leap" in the field of diversification and the substitution of imports, according to the minister who added that the four future refineries of Tiaret, Hassi Messaoud, Biskra and Arzew will increase fuel production by nearly 20 million tonnes.

Those quantities are "widely sufficient for the domestic consumption, with a surplus which will be destined to export," said Boutarfa, qualifying this goal set by the government as the "biggest challenge for Sonatrach."

Concerning shale gas, the minister stressed that the "inevitable" fall of the conventional gas calls for the development of this resource.

"We have to develop this resource sooner or later. Now we have to dialogue and be sensitive to every one’s concerns so to “de-demonize” the non-conventional hydrocarbons," Boutarfa added.

Regarding the international calls to tender for the exploration and the exploitation of hydrocarbons in Algeria, Boutarfa said that the tax measures included in the hydrocarbon law en force since 2013 do not make them successful.

In this regard, he noted that the government may revise this law in its tax-related aspect if necessary.

Referring to the application of the Algerian crude oil production cut as part of the OPEC agreement, the minister explained that the National Agency for the Development of Hydrocarbon Resources (Alnaft) had the legal prerogative to compel all the foreign companies activating in Algeria to reduce their production.

  "The operation will be manageable since these will be decisions taken by mutual agreement between the national company and its partners, so there is no problem at this level. Thus, dividing  the cut quota which of 50000 barrels per day among the producers is applicable," he argues.

Concerning the international gas market, the minister said that Algeria has no other alternative but to compete with the other producers to defend its market shares.

According to Boutarfa, "we are facing a new reality (of the market)" and it will become “harder” to maintain the long-term contracts given the evolution of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) marketing.

Published in ECONOMY

 RHOURDE NOUSS (ILLIZI)-  Sonatrach spends more than $ 9 billion a year on investments in exploration and operations, accounting for 65% of the company's total investments between 2015 and 2021, said Saturday in Rhourde Nouss (Illizi),  the Group’s Vice President of Exploration and Production, Salah Mekmouche.

 "More than 25% of these investments are made by foreign partners of Sonatrach," Mekmouche told the press after his visit to the Rhourde-Nouss gas complex.

A part of these investments helped to deliver more than 250 hydrocarbon wells in 2016, while approximately 290 others will be delivered in 2017. "We were able to achieve our objectives with the same means of drilling," said the official.

In this regard, he pointed out that several gas projects will be commissioned in 2017, like the Al-Ghar project, Tiguentourine (in January), In Salah, Regane of Adrar, Timimoune as well as oil wells in the Berkine Basin.

Speaking about Sonatrach's international projects, Mekmouche recalled that the national company, through its subsidiary Sipex, has exploration blocks in Mauritania, Niger where the drilling of the first wells will begin in 2017, Tunisia, Mali, Libya and assets in Peru.

According to the same manager, Sonatrach plans to acquire, alone or in partnership, assets in sub-Saharan Africa and Iraq.

Published in ECONOMY

 RHOURDE NOUSS (ILLIZI) – The production of gas field of Rhourde Nouss region (Illizi) is expected to further increase with the commissioning between 2017 and 2018 of several new wells, which drilling is underway, said Saturday the official of the field exploitation.

"The wells, which capacities will be determined after drilling operations will allow to increase gas production in this field," which is Algeria’s second largest field after Hassi R’mel, the same official told the press on the sidelines of Sonatrach officials’ working visit to the field.

Making up over 20% of the national gas production with 75 million m3 per day, the gas processing complex of Rhourde region includes four production units, besides the Hamra Directorate which is an autonomous plant.

The four units are the 50-million-m3-per-day "PHASE-A" gas processing plant, commissioned in 1988,  and the "Quartzite Hamra" gas processing plant of a capacity of 10 million m3 per d and the recovery of 2000 m3 of condensate, commissioned in 2014.

The third unit has a processing capacity of 48 million m3 per day, knowing that an operation to rehabilitate one of this unit’s trains (with a production capacity of 16 million m3 per day) stopped since 2009 due to a technical problem, has recently been launched.

As for the fourth unit, it is specializing in the separation and compression of gas (oil processing unit) for a capacity of 10 million m3 per day, for processing at PHASE-A level of 800 tons of oil.

Regarding Hamra Directorate for Gas Processing, it produces 15 million cubic meters of gas per day.

Published in ECONOMY

ALGIERS- The national hydrocarbon company Sonatrach concluded Thursday, in Algiers, with the French company Total an agreement in petrochemistry on the conducting of a feasibility study for the construction of a world-scale petrochemical complex, announced Sonatrach in a communiqué.

During their meeting, the Chief Executive Officer of Sonatrach Amine Mazouzi and Director General of Total Patrick Pouyanne “agreed to strengthen the partnership and the cooperation on the hydrocarbon chain in Algeria and internationally, confirming the two sides’ willingness to strengthen the partnership and give concrete expression to new opportunities for the two companies,” added the source.

An agenda was set for the implementation of the actions retained by the two sides during this meeting.





Published in ECONOMY

ALGIERS- The national hydrocarbon group Sonatrach and Turkish company Botas signed Tuesday, in Algiers, an agreement aimed at the strengthening of their relations in the medium and long terms and the implementation of the areas of cooperation, notably to develop their positions in the regional markets.

This agreement was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Sonatrach Amine Mazouzi and Botas’ CEO Burhan Ozcan.

The agreement provides for the exploration of partnership opportunities in fields of common interest in the hydrocarbon chain in Algeria, Turkey and other regions.

In the signing ceremony, Mazouzi underlined that through this agreement, "Sonatrach and Botas confirm their willingness to strengthen and develop their long-standing relations and extend their cooperation to new areas in the best interest of the two companies.”


Published in ECONOMY

ALGIERS – National Oil Company Sonatrach on Sunday in Algiers signed a contract with a Spanish company and another one with a French company in the field of oil refinery.

The first contract has been inked with the Spanish firm Engineering Tecnicas Reunidas on conducting basic Engineering studies for a project of gas oil hydrocracking and naphtha surpluses processing, resulted from Skikda refinery.

 The project, which requires €5.59 million for basic Engineering and €9.91 million and DZD88.32 million for the activities Project Management Consultancy (PMC), is located in the Skikda Industrial Zone will help reinforce Sonatrach capacities of production of refined oil products to meet the current and future needs of the national market.

To be built in 34 months, the plants of gas oil hydrocracking and naphtha surpluses catalytic reforming of Skikda refinery are designed for a capacity of annual gas oil processing of 4.6 million tons and a surplus of naphta of 4 million tons, making an annual production of 3.2 million tons of diesel and 3.5 million tons of fuel.

The second contract, a €5.17 million financing framework over 18 months was clinched by French company Amec Foster Wheeler.

It concerns the elaboration of feed-type basic studies for the Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) and the assistance of Sonatrach in the analysis of the technical bids, for selecting a contract on MTBE complex achievement.

The project concerns the annual processing of 75,000 tons of methanol and 150,000 tons butane, allowing an annual production of 200,000 tons of MTBE destined to increase by 80 to 95% the octane number of petrol produced by Sonatrach refineries.

Published in ECONOMY
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