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    Sonatrach Pens More Memos with IOCs


Interest in Algeria's upstream was perked when the government passed a new hydrocarbon law in late 2019, but has waned greatly as a result of the pandemic.

by: Joe Murphy

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Sonatrach Pens More Memos with IOCs

Algeria's national oil company Sonatrach has signed memoranda of understanding with Italy's Eni, France's Total and US player Occidental Petroleum to negotiate a contract to further develop the Berkine basin, it said on January 31.

The three international oil companies already work together at blocks 208 and 404 in the Berkine area. These blocks contain 17 fields that form the Hassi Berkine, Ourhoud and El Merk clusters.

Sonatrach has signed preliminary deals with a number of IOCs over the past year on upstream development, including US majors Chevron, ExxonMobil and Austria's OMV. But no new binding agreements have been reached. Interest in Algeria's oil and gas sector was perked when the government passed a new hydrocarbon law in late 2019, but has waned greatly since the coronavirus-induced collapse in oil and gas prices last year.

Oxy entered the picture with its acquisition of Anadarko, which it wanted primarily for its US upstream positions. However Algiers did not agree to Total's planned takeover of ex-Anadarko's Algerian asssets. Oxy did sell Anadarko's other African assets to Total however, most notably its stake in Mozambique LNG.