The engineering, procurement and construction contract covers the construction of three plants to separate water from oil and gas and inject it back into the wellhead to maintain crude production.

The facilities will be located in the Stah, Mereksen and Ohanet field developments.

The Ohanet plant, located in the far south, will be built on the gas field operated by BHP Billiton under its exploration and production agreement with Sonatrach and Australia’s Woodside Energy. The development produces about 30,000 barrels a day (b/d) of condensate and 26,000 b/d of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Mereksen and Stah are two smaller fields lying close to the Libyan border in the hydrocarbons-rich Illizi basin and are operated by Sonatrach. The two fields along with the adjoining Alrar deposit are thought to produce less than 10,000 b/d. The existing processing capacity on site is less than 9,000 b/d of oil, 40,000 b/d of condensate, and 1,280 tonnes a day of liquefied petroleum gas.

A tender for the three plants is expected to be issued to bid once prequalification is complete, probably in early 2009.

Like many countries in the region, Algeria is having to increasingly develop enhanced oil recovery processes to deal with declining reservoir pressure and oil output.