Gazprom obtains rights for hydrocarbon exploration and production in Algerian El Assel area
January 20, 2009 - Gazprom Netherlands B.V. and the Algerian State Oil and Gas Corporation (ASOGC) Sonatrach have signed an Agreement for the transfer of rights for hydrocarbon exploration and production in the onshore area El Assel located in the Berkine Basin of Algeria. Gazprom's share in the project will account for 49 per cent.
According to provisional estimates the recoverable oil reserves of the said area amount to some 30 million tons. El Assel includes three blocks covering a total of 3,083 square kilometers.
The said contract, if signed, will enable Gazprom to initiate in Algeria the first hydrocarbon exploration and production project, which will foster the Company's position in the region.
On December 13, 2008 Gazprom was announced the winner of the hydrocarbon exploration and development tender for the onshore area El Assel.
Algeria's proven natural gas reserves total 4.58 trillion cubic meters (second-largest in Africa after Nigeria's reserves - 5.15 trillion cubic meters). The main part of the natural gas reserves is concentrated in the central and eastern parts of the country.
The country's proven oil reserves amount to 1.58 billion tons (third-largest in Africa after Libya and Nigeria's reserves). In the energy balance of Algeria natural gas accounts for 62.5 per cent, oil - 34.5 per cent, coal - 2.5 per cent, hydro energy - 0.5 per cent.
The Algerian State Oil and Gas Corporation Sonatrach deals with oil and natural gas exploration, transportation and marketing, controls the bulk of gas production and wholesale trade.
On August 4, 2006 Gazprom and the ASOGC Sonatrach signed the Memorandum of Understanding. The document determines the following basic directions of cooperation deepening: geological exploration, production, transportation, gas transportation and distribution systems development, asset swaps, oil and natural gas processing and marketing in Algeria, Russia and third countries.
Gazprom opened its Representative Office in Algeria in June 2008.
Gazprom Netherlands B.V. is a 100 per cent subsidiary of Gazprom responsible for the coordination and management of the Company's upstream assets abroad in the interests of Gazprom Group.