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ALGERIA - Oilfield Profiles - Rhourde El Baguel & BP (Arco).

This field (REB) was found in 1962, the year Algeria gained independence from the French, with 40.2 deg. API oil produced from a Cambrian formation at a depth of 9,850 feet. The second largest oil producer, REB's recovery rate declined to 18% by 1995. In 1996, it was producing less than 25,000 b/d. On Feb. 15, 1996, Arco of the US (now part of BP) signed a $1.3 bn, 25-year PSA with Sonatrach for the field. In 1995 it paid a signature bonus of $225m and agreed to pay a $300m entrance fee. It was to invest in an EOR system and further development, with 38 new wells to be drilled. BP raised the field's output to a 125,000 b/d peak in early 2000, but its sustainable capacity was 120,000 b/d. Now production is averaging 65,000 b/d.

BP (Arco) has been investing $50m to find gas in the REB area and nearby. In April 1996 Arco contracted MW Kellogg to do the engineering work. Later it contracted Snamprogetti to do basic designs. On Sept. 13, 1996, it contracted MW Kellogg to install an advanced EOR system, with the main equipment supplied by Nuovo Pignone. Kellogg also provided $80m worth of services and completed the first three phases of the EOR system in 1999. The World Bank provided a $200m partial risk guarantee to protect Arco's investment against non-commercial losses.

REB has about 3 bn barrels of oil in place, having produced less than 450m barrels since 1963. Arco was to extract over 500m barrels, but if had to find enough gas for reinjection. BP has a 58% share of the new output after having recovered its costs, with 51% of the JV held by Sonatrach and 49% by major. BP's sale of equity in the REB venture to Elf in early 2000 was blocked by Sonatrach.

Arco had since 1992 explored several blocks in Hassi Bir Mekaiz (Ghadames basin east of Hassi Messaoud), where its partners are TPAO of Turkey and Santa Catalina (an affiliate of Lundin Oil), under a separate deals with Sonatrach. It and BP have made commercial discoveries in these areas and BP continues to explore. In late 1998 Arco relinquished the Guerrara block east of Hassi R'Mel.

(REB and most fields found before Algeria's independence in 1962 were discovered by the French Compagnie de Recherches et d'Exploitation de Petrole du Sahara).
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Comment:ALGERIA - Oilfield Profiles - Rhourde El Baguel & BP (Arco).
Publication:APS Review Oil Market Trends
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 5, 2001
Previous Article:ALGERIA - Oilfield Profiles - Hassi Messaoud.
Next Article:ALGERIA - Other OilFields.

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