Eni and Sonatrach have announced a significant oil and associated gas discovery in the Zemlet el Arbi concession, located in the Berkine North Basin in the Algerian desert. The concession is operated by a joint venture between Eni (49%), and Sonatrach (51%). Preliminary estimates of the size of the discovery are around 140 million barrels of oil in place.
The exploratory well that led to the discovery has been drilled on the HDLE exploration prospect, located about 15 Km from the processing facilities of Bir Rebaa North field. HDLE-1 discovered light oil in the Triassic sandstones of Tagi Formation, confirming 26 m of net pay with excellent petrophysical characteristics. During the production test, the well delivered 7000 barrels of oil per day and 5 mmscfd of associated gas. The HDLE-1 well is the first well of the new exploration campaign which will include the drilling of 5 wells in the Berkine North Basin.
The discovery will be quickly appraised with the drilling of a second well, HDLE-2, in April 2022 to confirm the additional potential of the structure extending in the adjacent Sif Fatima 2 concession operated by an Eni-Sonatrach JV (50-50%).
In parallel with the appraisal program, Eni and Sonatrach will perform studies and analyses to accelerate the production phase of the new discovery through a fast-tracked development with start-up foreseen in Q3 2022.
With this discovery, Eni and Sonatrach continue to successfully pursue their near field and infrastructure-led exploration strategy allowing a rapid valorisation of these new resources.
Eni has been present in Algeria since 1981 where it operates several concessions. With an equity production in the country of about 95.000 Boepd, Eni is the most important international company operating in the country.