New Berkine production strains OPEC quota

25 January 2002

Production from blocks 403 and 404 of the Hassi Berkine (HBN) oil field started up on 15 January, two months ahead of schedule. The field has a production capacity of 75,000 barrels a day (b/d) which will be processed through the central processing facilities at the Hassi Berkine South (HBNS) complex.

The new line will increase production at the central facility to 210,000 b/d. A fourth line, scheduled to come on stream this August, will boost total oil production from the complex to 285,000 b/d. Analysts say that the additional supply may make it difficult for Algeria to comply with the latest OPEC production cuts, which require the North African country to reduce its oil output to just 693,000 b/d (Oil & Gas, MEED Special Report, 4:1:02, pages 19-21).

Blocks 403 and 404 are operated by an association of state energy company Sonatrachwith Italy's Agip, and Anadarko Petroleum Corporationof the US respectively. The HBN field, which is located across the two blocks, is shared between the two associations, with Anadarko having a 74.5 per cent stake, and Agip holding the remainder (US, MEED Special Report, 21:9:01, pages 26-27).

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