APS : Friday, 02 February 2018
WASHINGTON – US Giant, ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company, plans to settle in Algeria and develop joint projects with Sonatrach, the Algerian Oil and Gas Group’s CEO, Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, announced.
In an interview to APS at the end of his three-day visit to Houston, Sonatrach boss said that ExxonMobil was “extremely interested” in investing in Algeria.
Ould Kaddour, who had participated in the 2nd US-Algeria Energy Forum, said that the multiple meetings he had with the managers of the US oil companies, notably ExxonMobil and Anadarko were “positive.”
“We have had a very positive meeting with the managers of ExxonMobil, who are extremely interested in investing in Algeria,” he added.
The US oil giant and Sonatrach agreed to meet in late March to discuss investment.
Group Anadarko, present in Algeria for many years, is seeking to raise its investments in the country. The largest crude producer in Algeria, among Sonatrach partners, is looking for new opportunities, added Ould Kaddour.
The “Forum has been extremely beneficial that such big companies are willing to come” in Algeria, he hailed.
Those investment intentions illustrate a renewed interest in the Algerian mining field, which has experienced in the past years some problems, which had a negative impact on the hydrocarbon invitations to tender, launched by the energy ministry since 2008.
Questioned about the decline in investments of the US oil firms in Algeria, Sonatrach CEO explained that two factors are responsible for this decline, namely the oil prices fall which compelled the oil firms to significantly cut their exploration activities in Algeria and in other countries too.
Moreover, and worth mentioning indeed, the current law on hydrocarbons is unattractive, said the CEO, adding that the revision of this law is expected to boost investment in this highest revenue generating sector in Algeria.
So “we need to be dynamic, very attractive and take into account the issues of our partners,” he stressed.
In this regard, Ould Kaddour said that in less than one year, Sonatrach has resolved a dozen disputes with its foreign partners, with the aim of revaluating the Group.
The Group’s international expansion is planned in Sonatrach Strategy for 2030.
In the upcoming weeks, the Group will inaugurate the first wells of oil production in Niger, he announced.
Sonatrach has also the possibility to operate oil fields in the oil-rich Iraq.
The Group also proposed to sell Iraqi products through its trading subsidiary in London, Sonatrach Petroleum Corporation, added Ould Kaddour.
“There are many opportunities. We will consider the way for developing them,” concluded Sonatrach CEO.