Chinese energy company Sinopec has won a contract to supply a rig to drill wells in the Algerian Ain Tsila gas and condensate field, which is operated by Groupement Isarene, a joint operating organisation made up of Ireland’s Petroceltic, Italy’s Enel, and state-owned energy company Sonatrach.

The 1,500 horse power rig will drill up to 24 new development wells in the field, according to a statement released by Petroceltic on 27 April.

The first 12 drilling locations are located in the north of the field and have already been selected and approved.

“The award of the rig contract represents the achievement of a further milestone for the Ain Tsila project, and will enable drilling to commence on schedule in 2015,” Petroceltic said in its statement.

The front end engineering and design (Feed) for the project is “progressing well,” according to Petroceltic.

The Feed contract for the project was awarded to Chicago Bridge and Iron in September 2014.

On 15 April, MEED revealed that engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors have been asked to prequalify for the project to develop the Ain Tsila gas condensate field.

In its latest statement Petroceltic said that Groupement Isarene, “is in receipt of a number of submissions, and it is anticipated that a shortlist of potential bidders who will be formally invited to tender for the EPC contract will be established shortly.”

Petrofac also said that the invitation to tender for the EPC contract is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2015 and the project remains on track to deliver first gas in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The field development project is estimated to be worth $2bn.

Scope for the project includes:

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

Petroceltic has a 38.25 per cent stake in the project. Enel holds an 18.375 per cent stake in the project and Sonatrach holds a 43.375 per cent stake in the scheme.

The Ain Tisla gas field is located in Algeria’s Isarene permit in blocks 228 and 229a.

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

The gas condensate field is expected to be developed over a period of 30 years, during which 124 wells will be drilled. The field will initially start production from 18 vertical wells. Gas will be produced via a new gas-processing plant at an annual average plateau rate of 355 million standard cubic feet per day. The production is expected to remain stable for 14 years.

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