Sonatrach is aiming to bring online additional throughput at the Medgaz export pipeline this month, while sketching out plans to return to exploration in Libya.
Algeria halted gas exports to Spain via Morocco in October 2021, via the Gazoduc Maghreb Europe (GME). Instead, it is increasing output via the direct Medgaz pipeline.
Sonatrach CEO Toufik Hakkar said a fourth turbocharger would start on the Medgaz link in January. The additional compressor will increase capacity to 10.5 billion cubic metres per year.
Naturgy, which has a 49% stake in Medgaz with BlackRock, had said the additional capacity should come online in the fourth quarter of 2021.
El Economista has reported that the companies have carried out two successful pressure tests on the Medgaz link in late 2021.
Hakkar said Sonatrach was meeting its contractual obligations to Spain, but was able to provide more gas if required. He noted the availability of Algerian LNG supplies as being able to respond quickly to Spanish demand.
Sonatrach plans to spend $39 billion from 2022 to 2026, CEO Toufik Hakkar said during a recent televised interview, with AL24. This is in line with previous statements from Sonatrach. Hakkar said the company planned to invest around $8 billion in 2022.
Major works this year include the refinery at Hassi Messaoud and an extension to a refining facility in Skikda.
The Algerian state-owned company’s revenues reached $34.5bn in 2021, up from $22bn in 2020 and $33bn in 2019.
Exploration and production will dominate Sonatrach’s spending. Hakkar said plans were under way to return to Libya, although discussions appear to be at an early stage.