Algeria signs gas development deal with oil giant Exxon Mobil

Algeria signs gas development deal with oil giant Exxon Mobil

Algeria's state oil company, Sonatrach, has signed a memorandum with US oil giant ExxonMobil to develop two gas fields, AFP reports citing a statement from Sonatrach. This agreement, signed in Algiers by Sonatrach CEO Rachid Hachichi and ExxonMobil’s head of exploration John Ardill, aims to explore and potentially exploit hydrocarbon resources in the Ahnet and Gourara basins in the south of the country.

Energy expert Geoff Porter told AFP that the deal "a big step" for Sonatrach, which hasn't attracted new oil and gas investments in years. He noted that if ExxonMobil is satisfied with the preliminary results, an exploration and production contract could follow, though negotiations might take 12-36 months.

In the statement, Hachichi asserted that the agreement signals new development opportunities and a commitment to responsible resource exploitation. 

The Wall Street Journal had previously reported advanced negotiations between Sonatrach, ExxonMobil, and Chevron to exploit Algeria's gas reserves. This deal marks a significant move in diversifying Algeria's foreign investments in energy and strengthening its role in European energy security, according to Porter.

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