Algerian state-owned oil operator Sonatrach made 18 hydrocarbon discoveries in the first eight months of 2014 after ramping up exploration.

A total of 13 of the discoveries were found in the first six months. These have an estimated proved and probable reserve size of 235 million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE), according to a statement made to the government-owned Algeria Press Service (APS). It also said volumes of 159 million TOE were possible.

The 13 discoveries made during the first half of 2014 produced at flow rates of 3-19.5 cubic metres an hour (cm/h) for oil. Gas flow rates were 5,200-24,900 cm/h while condensate flowed at rates of 2-12 cm/h.

According to Sonatrach, the new findings along with discoveries from last year confirm the basis for the geological assumptions of the company’s exploration intensification programme.

Sonatrach told APS that it expects the total volume of hydrocarbons discovered in 2014 to be comparable to levels in 2013, which reached 535 million proven and probable TOE.

Last year, Algeria saw 32 oil and gas discoveries, including 29 made by Sonatrach. Out of a total of 93 wells drilled in Algeria, 85 were drilled by Sonatrach.