Algeria’s national oil company, Sonatrach, announced on Friday that it would commence offshore drilling on the eastern coast between Bejaia and Skikda for the first time in its history.
The campaign will begin in the second half of the year, with 2D and 3D seismic data acquisition campaigns currently underway.
Sonatrach’s Director for New Resources, Youcef Khankar, said the targeted region could contain several trillion cubic meters (tcm) of biogenic gas.
Initial results from the on-going 2D seismic campaign suggest geological similarities between the east coast and Egypt’s Zohr field. Located in the Mediterranean Sea, the Zohr gas field is said to contain 30 tcm of natural gas.
According to reports, Algeria’s west coast may also contain oil, with an initial planned extraction of several millions of barrels from the first wells to be drilled in this area. Oil majors Total and ENI are carrying out prospects on both the east and west coasts.
Last October, Sonatrach signed its first ever contracts for offshore exploration, marking a new stage in its bid to increase hydrocarbon production.