The US major ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company, plans to set up in Algeria and develop joint projects with Sonatrach, announced the CEO of the Algerian oil and gas group, Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour.
In an interview with APS after his three-day visit to Houston, the boss of Sonatrach said ExxonMobil was “extremely interested” in investing in Algeria. Ould Kaddour, who had just taken part in the second Algerian-American forum on energy, described his many meetings with executives of American oil companies, including ExxonMobil and Anadarko, as “positive”. “We had a very positive meeting with the executives of ExxonMobil who are extremely interested in coming to Algeria,” he said. The American major and Sonatrach have met at the end of March to deepen discussions on this implementation.
The Anadarko group, which has been present in Algeria for several years, has expressed the wish to increase its investments in the country. The largest crude oil producer in Algeria among Sonatrach’s partners is looking for new opportunities, according to Ould Kaddour. “The forum has been very positive about having companies, of this size and quality, interested” by Algeria, he said.
These investment intentions signal a renewed interest in the Algerian mining sector which has suffered in recent years from a problem of attractiveness and the consequences of which were apparent in the meager results of tenders for research and development. exploitation of hydrocarbons launched by the energy sector since 2008. Asked about this lack of attractiveness and the decline in investments of American oil companies in Algeria, the boss of Sonatrach explained that two main factors were at the origin of this decline.
First, there is the fall in oil prices which has forced the oil companies to massively reduce their investment spending, especially in exploration, and Algeria, like other oil countries, does not has not escaped the fallout of this downward trend, he says in substance. Then, it should also be noted that the current law on hydrocarbons is unattractive, noted the CEO.
The revision of this mechanism should help boost investment in this strategic sector, which generates the bulk of the country’s revenue. Also, “we have to be dynamic, very attractive and take into account the problems of the partners,” he said. In this regard, Mr. Ould Kaddour said that in less than a year, Sonatrach has managed to settle a dozen disputes with foreign partners, strengthening the valuation of the group internationally. The group should also relaunch its international expansion.
This axis of development is provided by the strategy of Sonatrach by 2030, reminded the CEO. In Niger, the group is preparing to inaugurate in the coming weeks its first oil production well, he said: “We have a very promising well in Niger but we can not say how much we will produce or sell In Iraq, there are several opportunities for Sonatrach, including the possibility of exploiting oil fields in this country with high hydrocarbon potential.
Sonatrach also proposed to market Iraqi products via its London trading subsidiary, Sonatrach Petroleum Corporation, according to Ould Kaddour, who recently traveled to Iraq to discuss these projects. “There are opportunities. We will see how to develop them, “says the boss of Sonatrach who notes the need to improve the international dimension of the group. ?