(ENI) plans to invest “billions” in Algeria in 3 years
Wednesday – 2 Shaaban 1439 AH – 18 April 2018 AD Issue Number [
Oran (Algeria): «Middle East»
Italy’s chief executive said on Tuesday that his company plans to invest billions in Algeria over the next three years, while Eni said it had agreed to extend the partnership with Algeria’s state-owned Sonatrach. “We need to invest more because Algeria still has large amounts of gas,” Eni’s chief executive Claudio Discalzi told an energy conference in the western Algerian city of Oran, adding that Eni was looking to the maritime holdings of the OPEC member. “The maritime sector is very interesting in Algeria, we are working on it. But we have not got patches yet. ” Last year Eni invested $ 600 million in Algeria and imported 11 billion cubic meters of gas, according to Discelzi. The Italian government, which controls Eni, is keen to turn Italy into a gas hub in southern Europe that can transport African supplies from Algeria and Libya and future flows from Azerbaijan to Europe. In recent years, Italy has turned to import gas from Russia instead of Algeria, which has seen stagnation. Sonatrach found it difficult to attract foreign investment, a situation that the company’s chief executive, Abdulmoumen Ould Kaddour, is trying to change. Last year, an Algerian gas field began operating after a delay. Production is expected to start in three other fields this year, raising annual gas output of 94 billion cubic meters by 9 billion cubic meters. In a statement issued yesterday by Eni, the Italian company said it had signed new agreements with Sonatrach, noting that the launch of a program for exploration and development in the Berkine basin in Algeria would be of great importance. The program will produce new gas reserves using existing infrastructure, she said. “Renewing cooperation between our two companies under today’s agreements allows Eni to take another important step in a key country like Algeria and to further strengthen our strategic partnership with Sonatrach,” said Diskalzi in the statement.