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Algeria - Rhourde El-Baguel & BP.

REB was found in 1962, with 40.2 deg. API oil produced from a complex Cambrian Fm at 9,850 ft. REB's recovery rate fell 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 $1.3bn, 25-year EPSA with Sonatrach for the field. In 1995 Arco paid a $225m signature bonus and a $300m entrance fee. It installed an EOR system and developed the field further, with 38 new wells drilled to raise REB's capacity to 120,000 b/d. But BP could only raise the output to 36,500 b/d, as a miscible gas injection system failed to bring about the contracted result. BP took a $230m charge against the REB project because of the failure. In early 2000 BP tried but failed to sell a 40% stake in its EPSA to Elf before the latter was absorbed by Total. Sonatrach exercised its legal right of pre-emption and took the equity itself.

At the time of the award in 1996, it was said REB had about 3bn barrels of oil in place, by then having produced less than 450m barrels since 1963. In its EPSA, Arco was to extract over 500m barrels, but it had to find enough gas for re-injection.

Arco had since 1992 explored several blocks in Hassi Bir Mekaiz (Ghadames basin east of HM) - where BP's partners are state-owned TPAO of Turkey (25%) and Lundin Oil unit Santa Catalina (25%), under a separate deal with Sonatrach. Sonatrach 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. Since 2000, BP has been trying to sell its 50% stake in the remaining blocks in these areas, where proven and probable sweet oil reserves were put at 100m barrels. Its operating unit is called Arco Ghadames. BP and Statoil are Sonatrach's partners in the huge sets of In-Salah and In-Amenas gas fields (see gmt6AlgFields9Feb15).

El-Gassi & Amerada Hess: Under a JV deal with Sonatrach signed in May 2000, the US independent Amerada Hess got the EOR and re-development projects in three oil producing fields: the el-Gassi oil and gas unit, found in 1972, which produces from a Triassic Fm; the near-by el-Agreb, a small field found in 1970 producing oil from an Ordovician/Pre-Triassic Fm; and Zotti, another small field.

Close to these is el-Agreb Ouest field, south of el-Gassi, developed by Total.

By early 2005 SonaHess (51% Sonatrach & 49% Hess) had tripled their output to 45,000 b/d. This had since risen to 59,000 b/d by early 2007. Further work on these fields' brought the combined capacity to 84,000 b/d in 2008. But the capacity later fell again.

SonaHess began work on these fields in the third quarter of 2000. The programme called for 36 new wells, work-over of 30 existing wells, and water and gas injection and gas compression facilities and a 75-km gas pipeline. Hess invested $400m on these fields.

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Publication:APS Review Oil Market Trends
Date:Feb 16, 2015
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