PetroVietnam Exploration Production (PVEP) Corporation has announced the first flow of commercial oil from Bir Seba oilfield in Algeria
The oilfield is located in the Hassi Messaoud province in the Sahara Desert, more than 600km from Algiers to the south.
The project is a joint venture between PVEP, Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Company (PTTEP) and Algeria’s state-owned oil and gas company Sonatrach with a respective stake of 40 per cent, 35 per cent and 25 per cent.
According to the stakeholders, it is the first successful project abroad of PVEP and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, which started in 2003 with an international bidding through a surveying process to 2008. Launched in 2009, the Bir Seba joint venture has a total capital of US$1.26bn and is operated by Groupement Bir Seba.
Hoang Ngoc Dong, director of PVEP-Algeria, said that the joint venture has drilled 16 wells and tapped nearly 20,000 bpd and one million barrels as of last month. The second phase of the project is expected to begin soon and the total output is likely to increase to 40,000 bpd in early 2020.
The North African country is one of the top three oil producers in the region with a total production of roughly 38bn barrels, a daily output of 1.2mn barrels, ranking 12th in terms of output and ninth in exports.
Having 4.5bn cu/m gas in reserve and capable of producing 60bn cu/m per year, Algeria is also the leading natural gas producer in Africa, the second biggest gas supplier to Europe and the fourth largest in the world.