Algeria’s Sonatrach moves to buy stake Mozambique

Sonatrach01 May 2013, News Wires – Algeria’s state energy company, Sonatrach, is in talks to buy a stake in Mozambique offshore gas projects operated by Italy’s Eni and Anadarko Petroleum of the US, its chief executive officer has announced.

Sonatrach, seeking to expand its presence abroad, is also eyeing new gas blocks in the east African country, Reuters quoted the company’s chief Abdelhamid Zerguine as saying, citing the official APS news agency.

Zerguine was speaking after signing a memorandum of understanding with the head of Mozambique’s Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonets, ENH, Nelson Ocuane.

Zerguine said Sonatrach was interested in buying part of a minority stake held by ENH in the offshore gas fields.

“We want to have a place, but on the Mozambican side,” he said, according to the news wire.

Zerguine did not give details on the size of stake Sonatrach was seeking to acquire, but said a 5% holding would cost it around $1 billion.

The memorandum also opened the way for Sonatrach to acquire exploration blocks in Mozambique.

“We agreed that Sonatrach will get prospecting blocks to explore alone or in partnership with energy companies operating in Mozambique,” APS quoted Zerguine as saying.

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