Statoil and Shell were awarded the Timissit Permit License in the Illizi-Ghadames Basin onshore Algeria. The license is in southeastern Algeria and covers an area of 2,730 sq km. Statoil bid in partnership with Shell, where Statoil will be the operator with 30% equity. Shell will hold 19% equity, and Sonatrach will hold the majority 51%.
The award represents an opportunity to test a potentially large shale resource play. The shale potential in Algeria may become an increasingly important component of the country’s gas exports to Europe in the future. The new license represents an opportunity to build on the existing country position by adding acreage with material exploration potential.
“Statoil is entering this shale play to test the prospectivity and commerciality through a step-wise approach. The first exploration phase is expected to last up to 2017 and include the drilling of two wells and seismic acquisition,” said Nick Maden, Senior Vice President for Statoil’s Exploration Activities in the Western Hemisphere.
The award is part of the Algerian Ministry of Energy and Mines, National Agency for Hydrocarbon Resources Valorisation’s (ALNAFT) Fourth International Bid Round, which was launched in January 2014.
Statoil is already present in Algeria and announced in September 2014 with its joint venture partners a decision to resume ordinary operations at the In Amenas plant, following terror attack on the facility in 2013.
The decision to re-enter came after security measures were identified and implemented.