The Minister of Energy, Abdelmadjid Attar, Sonatrach's CEO, Toufik Hakkar, and Eni's CEO, Claudio Descalzi, met in Algiers to discuss the progress of the activities in the country today.
Eni and Sonatrach reviewed the recent completion of the construction of the gas pipeline linking the production sites of Bir Rebaa Nord (BRN) and Menzel Ledjmet Est (MLE) in the Berkine Basin. The two companies confirmed their willingness to continue the acceleration of the Berkine Nord project, which entered into production last February, just one year after the signing of the agreements, with the aim of exporting 6 million standard cubic metres (mscm) of gas per day by the end of 2020. Both CEOs committed to an accelerated time to market path by leveraging the capacity of the contracting companies of the Sonatrach group involved in the execution of the works.
During the meeting, Eni and Sonatrach, in the presence of the Minister, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of expanding their collaboration in the context of upstream activities. The agreement provides for joint work aimed at identifying exploration, development and production opportunities, based on the new Hydrocarbons law and extending the fast track development model successfully applied to the North Berkine project.
Furthermore, agreements have been concluded for the upstream gas marketing of the North Berkine Blocks and the commercial conditions of the gas import contract in Italy for the thermal year 2020-21.
The parties also discussed the installation and management of plants for the production of solar energy in the production sites operated by Sonatrach and Eni. In particular, feasibility studies will be carried out immediately for the expansion of the BRN photovoltaic system built at the end of 2018 and for the creation of a new photovoltaic system at the MLE site which will supply clean energy to the existing gas treatment plant.
These initiatives fall under the strategy that the two companies are developing on common assets, which aims both to change the energy mix of their activities and to an increasingly low-carbon scenario, through the energy efficiency of existing plants, as part of a business model that combines economic and financial sustainability with environmental sustainability.
At the end of the meeting, Eni's CEO expressed his thanks for the support and strong relationship with Sonatrach: “This meeting is a testament to the commitment of Sonatrach and Eni to expand their partnership in Algeria, furthering their shared strategy of accelerated development of the projects and pursuing the decarbonisation objectives as part of our commitment to achieve long-term carbon neutrality by reducing and offsetting climate-altering gas emissions.”
Eni has been present in Algeria since 1981 and is currently the operator of 32 mining permits. With an equity production destined to exceed 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the short term, Eni is the most important international company operating in the country.