Sonatrach lays out 2006 investment plan

10 March 2006

Sonatrach plans to invest $6,100 million in the development of the country's hydrocarbons sector in 2006. The investment details accompanied the release of its provisional 2005 results at the end of February. The investment programme aims to raise hydrocarbons production by 1.5 per cent this year to 235.6 million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE), and covers several new projects (see table).

In addition to the investment planned by Sonatrach, international oil companies (IOCs) are set to invest a further $2,500 million, said Sonatrach chief executive officer Mohamed Meziane at an address to the Energy Press Club on 27 February. The investment is in line with Algiers' aim to increase oil production to 1.5 million barrels a day (b/d) by the end of 2006 and to 2 million b/d by 2010, and to raise gas exports by 87 per cent to 3,000 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) over the period (MEED 16:12:05, Cover Story).

The investment programme will cover:DrillingNinety exploration wells to be drilled by Sonatrach and its partners under a $1,400 million investment programme; 221 development wells, including 48 horizontal wells on Sonatrach's Hassi Messaoud field and 127 wells to be drilled by foreign partners.

OilIncreased production from: the Sbaa basin as part of the Adrar integrated refinery project; Sonatrach acreage at Adrar, Bir Berkine and Bir Berkine Nord; and increments in production from the Hassi Messaoud field.

GasThe In Amenas field, operated by the consortium of Sonatrach, Norway's Statoil and the UK's BP, is set to come on stream in the second quarter and is expected to produce about 877 million cf/d of gas and 50,000 b/d of liquids.

According to Sonatrach's provisional results, hydrocarbons production in 2005 rose 4 per cent year on year to 232.3 million TOE and exports were up 6 per cent year on year to 142.3 million TOE. Total hydrocarbons export earnings amounted to $45,600 million, up 45 per cent from 2004.

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