Monday, February 02, 2009
Gazprom to explore Algeria's El Assel license
LONDON, Feb. 1, 2009 - Oil & Gas Journal by Uchenna Izundu - Gazprom Netherlands BV has secured from Sonatrach the rights to explore the onshore El Assel concession in the Berkine basin in Algeria. Gazprom will have a 49% stake. "According to provisional estimates, the recoverable oil reserves of the said area amount to some 30 million tons. El Assel includes three blocks covering a total of 3,083 sq km," Gazprom said. This, the company's first project in Algeria, underpins its strategy to build a presence in Africa. In 2006 Gazprom and Sonatrach pledged to cooperate under a memorandum of understanding in Algeria, Russia, and overseas on exploration, production, transportation, and asset swaps. Algeria's proved natural gas reserves total 4.58 trillion cu m, with the majority of these in the central and eastern areas of the country. Its proved oil reserves amount to 1.58 billion tonnes.