Sonatrach announces important oil discovery in Zemlet El Arbi perimeter (Berkine Basin)

APS - 20 March 2022

ALGIERS-Sonatrach Group and its partner Eni announced that they have successfully drilled the first exploration well (wildcat) HDLE-1 in the Zemlet El Arbi research perimeter, located in the Berkine Basin.

"The HDLE-1 exploration well, located approximately 15 km from BRN's existing processing facilities, has revealed a significant crude oil discovery in the Trias Argileux Gréseux Inférieur (TAGI) sandstone reservoir of the Triassic formation, confirming a 26 m net pay with excellent petrophysical characteristics," said Sonatrach in a communiqué.

During the production test, the well delivered 46.4 m3/hour (7,000 barrels/day) of oil and 140,000 m3/day of associated gas. Preliminary estimates show that the HDLE structure contains about 140 million barrels of crude oil in place.

Sonatrach and Eni plan to undertake the drilling of a second well (HDLE-2), in April 2022, in order to assess the potential of the discovery which extends over Sif Fatima II adjacent perimeter (operated by the same association).

Sonatrach and Eni are working in close collaboration to accelerate the production phase of this new discovery through a "fast-track" development. Start-up is scheduled for the third quarter of 2022. HDLE-1 is the first well under an exploration campaign that plans the drilling of five (05) wildcat wells in the northern region of the Berkine Basin.

The results of this well confirm the hydrocarbon potential of the Zemlet El Arbi perimeter and allow Sonatrach and Eni to successfully pursue their "near field" exploration strategy, ensuring rapid development of these new resources.

The Zemlet El Arbi perimeter is located in the prolific Berkine Basin region, nearly 300 km southeast of Hassi Messaoud. It is a subject of a research and exploitation contract in which Sonatrach holds 51% of the interests and Eni holds the remaining 49%.