State-owned Sonatrach has given its approval to Ireland’s Petroceltic that will see the Dublin-based company go ahead with its plans for the Ain Tsila gas-condensate field in the Illizi basin of Algeria.

The approval means that the field can move into its development phase over a pre-agreed 30-year term. However, the approval is conditional to Petroceltic and its partners commencing development work in 2013 and having the field ready for production of first gas by 2017.

The scope for the field will see the development of 2.1 trillion cubic feet of gas, 67 million barrels of condensate and 108 million barrels of liquid petroleum gas (LPG).

The initial production target in 2017 is 355 million cubic feet a day of gas. The plateau length has been cited as 14 years, although additional wells will be drilled during that period to maintain production level.