Repsol has not released details of the find in Algeria’s Sud-Est Illizi block, near the border with Libya. However, a spokesman confirmed that a report in the Financial Times newspaper was “completely” accurate.
The report said that the Repsol-operated TGE-1 well hit a 50-metre column of gas and a preliminary test flowed at 235,000 cubic metres per day.
Repsol made a discovery on the same block in November last year with the Tihalatine South-1 well. That well, drilled to a depth of 1073 metres, flowed at 105,000 cubic metres per day.
The company told the Financial Times that the presence of more gas in the Sud-Est Illizi would make a large-scale gas production facility in the block “more commercially viable”.
Repsol operates the block with a 25.7% stake, with Italy’s Enel on 13.5%, France’s GDF Suez on 9.8%. State-owned Sonatrach owns the remaining 51% interest.
The Sud-Est Illizi block is next to the In Amenas field, where al-Qaeda-linked militants attacked a gas plant in January and took dozens of foreign hostages. The incident left more than 60 people dead.
Algerian officials have expressed concern that the attack would further sour foreign explorers on tapping the country’s vast gas reserves. Security issues in Algeria have scared away many potential foreign investors in recent years.
Algeria, an Opec member, is the third-largest supplier of gas to Europe and boasts the 10th biggest gas reserves in the world.
*Luke Johnson, Upstreamonline