Our work in Algeria

Oil and gas are the engine of the economy in Algeria, where we have been present since 1981 and where today operate in the Exploration & Production and renewable sectors.

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Energy from gas in the desert

Exploration and development activity is focused in the Bir Rebaa desert, located in the central-eastern part of the country, in blocks 403a/d (Eni 65%-100%), North ROM (Eni 35%), 401a/402a (Eni 55%), 403 (Eni 50%), 405b (Eni 75%) and 212 (Eni 22.38%). In the North Berkine basin, Eni's activities are concentrated in the Sif Fatima II, Zemlet El Arbi and Ourhoud II blocks, where we are 49% operators. We also hold 12.25% in the non-operated blocks 404 and 208. Our Algerian exploration and production operations are regulated by Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) concession contracts. In July 2018 Eni and Sonatrach agreed the extension of block 403, the agreement also includes the construction of a pipeline to connect BRN's assets with MLE with the aim of creating a gas hub. In the Sif Fatima II, Zemlet El Arbi and Ourhoud II concessions in the North Berkine Basin, the accelerated development of the estimated 75 million boe of reserves owned by Eni and an exploration campaign are underway. The oil wells were started up in May 2019. The production of gas fields will start at the same time as the start of the BRN-MLE pipeline. In December 2018, the consortium formed by Sonatrach, Eni and Total was granted two exploration permits to carry out seismic acquisition activities in the Algerian offshore sector. We are operators of the permit to the east called Skikda where in the spring of 2019 we acquired about 2,000 km2 of 3D seismic and 200 km2 of 2D seismic.

In July 2018 Eni and Sonatrach agreed the extension of Block 403. The agreement also includes the construction of a pipeline to connect the assets of Bir Rebaa North (BRN) with Menzel Ledjmet East (MLE) with the aim of creating a gas hub. In the Sif Fatima II, Zemlet El Arbi and Ourhoud II concessions in the North Berkine basin, the accelerated development of the estimated 75 million boe of reserves owned by Eni and an exploration campaign are underway. The oil wells were started up in May 2019.  During the same year, oil production start-up was achieved by means of seven production wells and the connection to the existing facilities of the BRN area in Block 403. In the first months of 2020, gas production began with the drilling of two wells and the connection of two additional wells to the existing facilities, following the completion of the pipeline from BRN to the MLE treatment plan in Block 405b, as well as of exploration and delineation activities in the area. The project will allow for the export of associated gas from Block 403 (BRN and BRSW) and the development of gas fields in the Berkine North's Blocks. Moreover, in 2019 activities yielded positive results also owing to the discovery of petroleum and natural gas in the Ourhoud II concession.

In 2019, development activities in Blocks 403a/d and ROM North, 401a/402a,  403, 405b, and 404, concerned production optimisation. Development activities in Block 208 concerned, instead, the continued development of the El Merk field with the drilling of production and water injection wells.

In July 2020 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sonatrach, in the presence of the Minister of Energy, for joint work aimed at identifying exploration, development and production opportunities and extending the fast track development model successfully applied to the North Berkine project. Furthermore, agreements have been concluded for the gas marketing of the North Berkine Blocks and the commercial conditions of the gas import contract in Italy for the thermal year 2020-21.

In 2020 exploration activities yielded positive results with the BKNES-1 near-field oil discovery well (Eni’s interest 49%) in the Berkine North area. During the year, gas production was started at the Berkine North complex (Eni’s interest 49%) leveraging a fast-track development intended to valorize the existing gas reserves. The development program included the drilling of four producing wells that were linked to the existing facilities, as well as the laying of a pipeline connecting the producing field to the MLE treatment plant in Block 405b (Eni’s interest 75%). The upgrading of the MLE treatment plant was completed in the year and is expected to reach a gross peak production of 60 kboe a day leveraging also the production of the Block 403 (Eni’s interest 50%) and of the Berkine North area by the end of 2021. Other development activities mainly concerned production optimization in the operated Blocks 403a/d and ROM Nord (Eni’s interest 35%), Blocks 401a/402a (Eni’s interest 55%), Block 403, Block 405b and Block 404 (Eni’s interest 12.25%).

An agreement signed to create a new hub in the Berkine Basin

In December 2020 the Algerian Minister of Energy, Abdelmadjid Attar, met our Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi to take stock of the company’s activities in the country, future projects and to discuss the energy transition. Claudio Descalzi also met with the CEO of Sonatrach, Toufik Hakkar. During the meeting, an agreement was signed detailing the roadmap for a new hydrocarbon contract in the southern area of the Berkine Basin. The agreement falls within the memorandum of understanding aimed at collaboration in the upstream sector signed last July and has the goal of creating a new gas and oil development hub in the region through synergies with the existing assets of MLE-CAFC (Block 405b). Toufik Hakkar and Claudio Descalzi agreed to implement a program for relaunching exploration and development activities in the area, through optimizing existing infrastructures, and to accelerate the speed with which its solutions are brought to the market by leveraging on the local content, replicating the model already adopted successfully for the Berkine Nord project. Both the expansion of the Bir Rebaa North (BRN) photovoltaic plant and the creation of a new photovoltaic plant at the MLE site, which will supply clean energy to the existing gas treatment plant while reducing emissions resulting from self-consumption of gas, through the improvement of the energy efficiency of processes, the electrification of treatment plants and the abatement of fugitive methane emissions.

In March 2021 we signed a news series of agreements that mark a further step forward in strengthening the partnership between the two companies. The first of the agreements signed aims to implement an ambitious program for the relaunch of exploration and development activities in the Berkine basin region and provides for the creation of a gas and crude oil development hub. We also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the development of the partnership in the new technologies sector, with a focus on renewable energy, biofuels and hydrogen. This agreement aims to strengthen the cooperation already in place in the technological field and continue the decarbonization path undertaken to support the transition towards a low carbon future. We have also agreed to collaborate in other sectors such as staff training, through the signing of an agreement that provides for cooperation between Eni Corporate University and the Institut Algerien du Petrole for the implementation of training programs in the Upstream and new technologies related to the energy transition fields.

During a meeting in July 2021 Sonatrach and Eni agreed to accelerate cooperation in the technological field, building on the Memorandum of Understanding the two companies signed last March in Milan, with specific focus on hydrogen production. A road map was outlined for the joint assessment of the technical and commercial feasibility of a pilot project to produce hydrogen using electricity generated from renewable sources (solar and wind). In addition, in order to preserve the country's water resources, the use of water produced by oil fields will be evaluated for the electrolysis processes necessary for the production of hydrogen, appropriately treated through dedicated plants.

We create energy

In Algeria we have built a photovoltaic plant in Bir Rebaa North and we will strengthen our presence in the Algerian desert with the development of the Upstream project in Berkine. Moreover, to contribute to the country's policy aimed at expanding access to maternal and childcare services in the South of the country, in June 2021 through Eni Foundation we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Health, Population and Hospital Reform of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria. In particular, the Foundation will provide support to strengthen specific services in the region's hospitals by supplying medical equipment and training health personnel, as well as extending home services in remote areas of the South through the support of mobile clinics, with the aim of contributing to the reduction of diseases and maternal-infant mortality.

 

The energy of the sun to reduce greenhouse gases

The Bir Rebaa North (BRN) photovoltaic plant will supply electricity to the field's production facilities and contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. To strengthen our partnership in the renewable energy sector, we will also set up a research laboratory with Sonatrach to test solar technologies in a desert environment and set up a joint venture to create and operate solar power plants at Sonatrach's production sites in the country.

Discover Bir Rebaa North
Discover Bir Rebaa North
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Exploring Algeria

The growth in renewables in the last few years in Algeria is in a sense surprising.

Algeria will keep growing as a strategic country in the fight against climate change, as will Africa as a whole.

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