Algeria’s Sonatrach aim to start offshore oil drilling

Algeria’s Sonatrach aim to start offshore oil drilling

Algerian state-owned company Sonatrach wishes to begin oil drilling in the Mediterranean Sea as it looks to expand its reserves with new production facilities.

The nation’s largest company has begun discussions with three major international oil firms regarding the opportunity for offshore drilling, according to a source at Sonatrach.

US-based ExxonMobil Corp (NYSE:XOM), and Anadarko (NYSE:APC), along with Italian firm Eni (BIT:ENI) have all been in talks as the Algerian oil major seeks expertise in the practise of offshore drilling.

An anonymous source at Sonatrach said: “Seismic operations carried out by Sonatrach have shown an interesting potential in the areas including Bejaia and Oran.

“The offshore is complementary to our operations in the South. It will also contribute to boosting our output.”

Bejaia is a port in the East of the country, while Oran is a Western port city. Both areas would serve as an onshore base for any oil discoveries in the Mediterranean.

OPEC member Algeria will continue to cut production by 50,000 barrels per day over the next year, in line with the recent agreement between all member states of the international oil organisation.