German gas group E.ON has made new hydrocarbons discoveries in the Rhourde Yacoub block in the eastern Sahara region of Algeria.

The company’s exploration arm E.ON E&P with its partner Algeria’s state-owned Sonatrach completed the drilling and testing of a seventh well and discovered oil and gas.

The Rhourde Yacoub licence is located in the Berkine Basin, 250 kilometres southeast of Hassi Messaoud. Following the discovery, E.ON will now enter a phase of drilling several wells over the next two years to assess the extent of the discoveries.

E.ON won the block in a licence round in December 2008, owning a 49 per cent share, with Sonatrach holding the 51 per cent majority stake.

Sonatrach is currently developing several major gas fields as Algeria aims to keep up with rising domestic demand and export commitments to the EU.