Eni and Sonatrach have made a significant oil and associated gas discovery in the Berkine North Basin in the Algerian desert.
Italian energy major Eni and Algerian national state-owned oil company Sonatrach have made a significant oil and associated gas discovery in the Zemlet el Arbi concession, located in the Berkine North Basin in the Algerian desert.
The concession is operated by a joint venture between Eni and Sonatrach which hold 49 and 51 percent in the JV, respectively. Preliminary estimates of the size of the discovery are around 140 million barrels of oil in place.
The exploratory well that led to the discovery has been drilled on the HDLE exploration prospect, located about 10 miles from the processing facilities of Bir Rebaa North field.
The HDLE-1 well discovered light oil in the Triassic sandstones of Tagi Formation, confirming 85 feet of net pay with excellent petrophysical characteristics.
During the production test, the well delivered 7,000 barrels of oil per day and 5 mmscfd of associated gas. The HDLE-1 well is the first well of the new exploration campaign which will include the drilling of 5 wells in the Berkine North Basin.
The discovery will be quickly appraised with the drilling of a second well, HDLE-2, in April 2022 to confirm the additional potential of the structure extending in the adjacent Sif Fatima 2 concession operated by an Eni-Sonatrach JV. Both companies hold 50 percent in the joint venture.
In parallel with the appraisal program, Eni and Sonatrach will perform studies and analyses to accelerate the production phase of the discovery through a fast-tracked development with a start-up foreseen in the third quarter of 2022.
With this discovery, Eni and Sonatrach continue to successfully pursue their near field and infrastructure-led exploration strategy allowing a rapid valorization of these new resources.
Eni has been present in Algeria since 1981 where it operates several concessions. With an equity production in the country of about 95.000 Boepd, Eni is the most important international company operating in the country.
Exploration and development activity is focused on the Bir Rebaa desert, located in the central-eastern part of the country, with Eni holding a stake in six blocks.
In the Berkine North Basin, Eni's activities are concentrated in the Sif Fatima II, Zemlet El Arbi, and Ourhoud II blocks, where the company is the operator with a 49 percent stake. Eni also holds 12.25 percent in non-operated blocks 404 and 208.
In the three operated concessions in the Berkine North Basin, the accelerated development of the estimated 75 million boe of reserves owned by Eni and an exploration campaign is underway. The oil wells were started up in May 2019 and the production from the gas fields will start at the same time as the start of the Bir Rebaa North – Menzel Ledjmet East pipeline which will create a new gas hub.
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