State energy company Sonatrach is negotiating a contract to build the GR2 gas pipeline from Alrar in the southeast to Hassi R’Mel. It is understood to be in discussion with France’s GTM Entrepose, Germany’s Mannesmann Anlagenbau and the US’ Fluor Daniel. The pipeline will help meet Sonatrach’s commitments to deliver gas to Spain and Italy (MEED 25:10:96).

Details of Sonatrach’s 1996-2000 investment plan, first presented at a conference in April, have been made public. They call for spending of $14,000 million in foreign exchange and an equivalent figure in local currency over the five-year period. The focus will be on exploiting known reserves and using enhanced recovery techniques to boost oil and gas production at mature fields, with increased involvement by international oil companies (MEED 11:10:96).

Brown & Root Condor, a joint venture of the US’ Brown & Root and local state enterprises, has won an engineering, procurement and construction contract to develop the Hassi Berkine South oil field operated by the US’ Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. This follows the award to Anadarko of a long-awaited exploitation licence in September (MEED 4:10:96).

The MW Kellogg Company of the US has won an engineering, procurement and construction contract with the US’ Arco for an enhanced oil recovery project at the Rhourde el-Baguel field (MEED 27:9:96).

Sonatrach has reopened talks with contractors to finish the renovation and expansion of the Skikda liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant. Technical problems and security considerations have delayed work by Gaz de France (MEED 23:8:96).