• Up to 24 new wells will be drilled and six existing wells recompleted prior to first gas
  • Contract award recommendation is expected before the end of the year
  • Development drilling is due to start in fourth quarter of 2015
  • First gas is scheduled for 2018

Ireland-based oil and gas company Petroceltic has issued an invitation to bid for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract on the $2bn Ain Tsila gas and condensate development in Algeria.

Only four companies and consortiums, out of 11 applicants, have prequalified for the deal.

The prequalified contractors are:

In a statement released on 19 August, Petroceltic said the selected companies have experience working in Algeria and are believed to be capable of delivering the planned works.

The scope of work for the EPC contract includes:

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

According to the front-end engineering and design (feed) work carried out by the US’ Chicago Bridge & Iron (CBI), the surface facilities will process up to 420 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of wet gas.

The facilities will also transport the streams of dry gas, LPG and condensate to existing tie-in points in the Algerian national pipeline grid.

The Ain Tsila gas field is located in the Illizi basin, within the Isarene permit in Blocks 228 and 229a.

Petroceltic holds a 38.25 per cent interest in the Isarene production-sharing contract, while Sonatrach holds a 43.375 per cent interest and Enel holds a 18.375 per cent.

Petroceltic and Sonotrach are aiming to make an award recommendation for the Ain Tsila field development EPC contract before the end of the year, according to the latest Petroceltic statement.

Development drilling is due to start in the last quarter of 2015, with a newly built rig contracted from China’s Sinopec, which is currently being transported to Algeria.

Up to 24 new wells will be drilled and six existing wells recompleted prior to first gas, with a production plateau of 14 years maintained by further drilling.

First gas is scheduled for 2018.

The invitation to tender for the EPC contract was expected to occur in the second quarter of 2015, but the project has seen significant delays due to financing problems.

In early August, Petroceltic decided to delay issuing $175m of senior secured callable bonds.

The debt is intended to fund the development of the Ain Tsila gas field in Algeria’s Isarene permit.

The delay was seen as a concession to ‘dissident’ shareholder Switzerland-based Worldview Capital Management, which owns 29.9 per cent of Petroceltic shares. 

The companies and consortiums that applied to prequalify for the project are:

The field is estimated to hold reserves of 2.1 trillion cubic feet of gas, 67 million barrels of condensate and 108 million barrels of LPG.

It is expected to be developed over a period of 30 years.

Under the current Ain Tsila development plan, the field will produce an annual average wet gas plateau rate of 355 million cf/d. Production is expected to remain stable for 14 years.

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