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Chevron Close to Signing Natural Gas Exploration Deal With Algeria

Algeria’s state-owned energy firm Sonatrach expects to sign in the coming days an agreement with Chevron that is set to boost the country’s natural gas production, Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab has said. 

The deal with the U.S. supermajor will be signed “within the next few days,” Arkab told state television in an interview carried by Bloomberg.

Algeria, the North African OPEC producer, is looking to raise its natural gas production and exports and will remain a key provider of gas to Europe, the minister said.  

Last week, the other U.S. supermajor, ExxonMobil, signed an agreement with the Algerian government for exploration at two natural gas fields in the North African country.

Exxon, in partnership with Algeria’s state energy firm Sonatrach, will “study the existing opportunities to develop the hydrocarbon resources in the Ahnet basin and the Gourara basin” in the southern part of the country, the New Arab reported.

Algeria holds huge conventional natural gas reserves, and it is also estimated to have the third–largest shale gas reserves in the world after China and Argentina.

Early last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Chevron had increased efforts to reach an energy exploration agreement with Algeria and was assessing the North African country’s estimated huge shale gas resources.

Most of Algeria’s gas exports are heading to Europe, which is increasingly betting on Africa to import large volumes of pipeline gas and LNG to replace pipeline gas supply from Russia, which was Europe’s top gas supplier before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Italy’s energy major, Eni, has been particularly active in securing more natural gas supply for Europe from Africa and has fast-tracked projects in Africa to meet Europe’s gas demand in the absence of Russian pipeline deliveries.

Moreover, the UK’s Grain LNG, Europe’s largest liquefied natural gas terminal, signed earlier this year a ten-year agreement that will extend the long-term storage and redelivery capacity of Sonatrach at the Grain LNG terminal from January 2029.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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