Eni and Sonatrach have made a “significant” oil and gas discovery in Algeria’s Berkine North Basin.
The companies believe the HDLE-1 well, on the Zemlet el Arbi licence, holds around 140 million barrels oil in place. Eni has a 49% stake in the find, while Sonatrach has 51%.
The partners drilled the exploration well around 15 km from processing facilities on the Bir Rebaa North (BRN) field. It found light oil in the Triassic sandstones of the Tagi formation.
The two companies tested the well at 7,000 barrels per day of oil and 5 million cubic feet per day of associated gas. It found 26 metres of net pay.
Eni and Sonatrach will drill four more wells in the Berkine North Basin under this exploration campaign. The plan involves an appraisal well, HDLE-2, in April to confirm a structure from the Sif Fatima 2 licence. The companies hold this licence 50:50.
The companies are also begin studies to move into development, targeting start up in the third quarter of this year.
Sonatrach said the discovery confirmed Zemlet El Arbi’s hydrocarbon potential. It validates the two companies’ near-field exploration strategy, which allows for new discoveries to be developed quickly.
Eni, in its capital markets day last week, highlighted the Berkine South project as expected to start up in the second half of this year. This will produce 49,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day gross in 2025.
Italy has targeted Algeria as one source of additional gas supply as the European state aims to move away from its reliance on Russia.