Sonatrach to increase oil output at Hassi Messaoud oilfield

oilfield lyza flickrThe Hassi Messaoud oilfield is an OPEC member but has been facing trouble maintaining its oil output. (Image source: Lyza/Flickr) Algeria's energy company Sonatrach has signed a deal with Indian company Dodsal Engineering and Construction worth US$618mn to maintain oil output at the Hassi Messaoud oilfield

According to the deal, a 24mn cu/m per day gas compression unit with an 180km long pipe network will be built at the oilfield. The project would help Hassi Messaoud retain production at 400,000 bpd, stated officials from Sonatrach.

Algeria is the largest member of OPEC, and the Hassi Messaoud oilfield is the largest one in the country. The oil and gas sector is the backbone of the economy, accounting for 35 per cent of the gross domestic product and two-thirds of total exports, stated OPEC.

However, the oilfield has been facing difficulty in increasing its oil and gas output of latedue to a fall in exploration activities and dwindling foreign investment, stated reports.

Abdelhamid Zerguine, chief of Sonatrach said the company was planning more projects to boost production in Hassi Messaoud. Algeria has also planned a third boosting complex to salvage an additional 490bn cu/m of gas at its main gas field Hassi R'mel, he added.

Said Sahnoun, vice-president of Sonatrach's upstream activities stated that output would see a 'considerable rise' by 2018 when the company begins production from its fields Tinhert, Hassi Bahamou, Hassi Mina, Touat and Reggane.

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