Algerian oil and gas group Sonatrach announced on Monday the discovery of a “significant” gas condensate deposit in the Hassi R’mel field in the Algerian Sahara, it said in a statement.
“Sonatrach announces that it has highlighted a significant potential in hydrocarbons (…) at the level of the Hassi R’mel exploitation perimeter,” the group said in a statement. The reserves of this deposit are estimated at “between 100 and 340 billion m3 of gas with condensate”, according to the statement.
Condensate gas is natural gas that contains liquid hydrocarbons in suspension, similar to crude oil, which greatly increases its value. “These volumes constitute one of the largest revaluations of reserves in the last 20 years,” the oil group added.
Sonatrach plans to start production in November from the field, which is expected to produce 10 million cubic metres per day.
Algeria, whose proven natural gas reserves amount to nearly 2.4 trillion m3, supplies about 11% of the gas consumed in Europe, compared to 47% for Russia. It is Africa’s leading exporter of natural gas and the 7th largest in the world.
Several countries seeking to reduce their dependence on Russian supplies since the invasion of Ukraine have turned to Algeria. In April, Italy signed a major agreement with Algeria on increased gas supplies.