Irish oil and gas exploration and production company Petroceltic is preparing to award the front end engineering design (FEED) contract for the development of the Ain Tsila gas condensate field in the third quarter of 2014.

The engineering, procurement and construction contract for the development is due to be awarded in 2015, with construction starting in the second half of the year and first gas due in 2018.

“We have worked closely with Sonatrach from the very beginning of this project,” says a spokesman for Petroceltic.

The Ain Tsila field is located in Algeria’s Illizi basin and is situated within the Isarene permit in Blocks 228 and 229a.

Petroceltic was awarded operatorship of the Isarene production sharing contract (PSC) in April 2005 with a 75 per cent equity interest.

This was reduced to 56.625 per cent through the divestment of an 18.375 per cent interest to Enel in early 2012 and subsequently further reduced when an extra 18.375 per cent stake was sold to Sonatrach in July 2014 for $180m.

Petroceltic now retains 38.25 per cent of the Isarene PSC, Sonatrach has a 43.375 per cent interest and Enel has a 18.375 per cent interest.

So far $300m have been invested in the project and 13 wells have been drilled since 2005, discovering 10 trillion cubic feet of wet gas.

124 wells are planned including 18 pre-production wells. Petroceltic expects the production plateau to be approximately 355 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscf/d) lasting for 14 years, after which production is expected to decline over a further decade.

Over the field’s operational life Petroceltic expects to export a total of 515 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe). The gas will be exported into the Sonatrach regional transmission network and purchased by Sonatrach.

The FEED contract was initially planned for the first quarter of the year, but was postponed due to delays in “finalising terms and conditions for the process,” according to a spokesman for Petroceltic.

The scope of work will include:

  • Drilling of 124 vertical wells
  • Gas central processing facility (CPF)
  • Water separation
  • Condensate and LPG recovery units
  • Gas compression unit
  • Export pumps
  • Export pipeline (100 km) to the Tin Fouye Tabankort (TFT) field for connection into the Algeria Gas Transmission System
  • Associated facilities

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