French energy major Total has unveiled its plans to develop the Ahnet area in Algeria after winning the oil and gas exploration and production license for the concession in a December bid round.

Total holds a 47 per cent stake in the license, while its partner, Turkey’s Partex, has a 2 per cent share. Algerian state energy firm Sonatrach holds the remaining 51 per cent.

According to Total, the partners will start working on a plan to develop the area in 2010, and will submit their proposals to the Algerian government in 2011. The French major hopes to start producing gas from the field in 2015.

Under the terms of the deal to develop the area, Total must produce 4 billion cubic metres a year of gas from the area from 2015 onwards. Data provided by the Algerian ministry of mines and energy suggests that the area contains up to 500 billion cubic metres of gas.

The French/Turkish consortium was one of only three firms to walk away with a development license after Algeria’s 20 December bid round. A total of 10 licenses were on offer, but a combination of an opaque economic outlook and the tough terms on offer deterred energy firms from bidding on all but the most attractive acreage on offer (MEED 20:12:2009).