Enel has been awarded, alongside oil and gas multinational Dragon Oil, two gas exploration blocks in Algeria in a bid round launched in January by Algeria's oil licensing body ALNAFT, which is in charge of awarding contracts for the exploration and utilisation of hydrocarbons in the country.
'The awarding of the exploration blocks is very important to us because it is the result of many months of hard work that began immediately after the licensing round was launched by ALNAFT,' said Ruggero Aricò, Enel's Director of External Relations in Algeria. 'The areas involved have huge exploration potential and are spread across the country.
'Enel was awarded two major blocks: Msari Akabli in south western Algeria and Tinrhert in the south east of the country. Winning the Msari Akabli block means that for the first time we have qualified as an on-shore operator in the country. The exploration and exploitation contracts will be signed by the end of the month, in accordance with due procedures.'
For some years now Enel has been investing in a growth strategy in the upstream gas sector that regards both exploration and extraction and natural gas liquefaction. Enel has confirmed itself as a vertically integrated group, with activities ranging from the production of electricity and gas to distribution and sale to end users.
The allocation of the Algerian exploration blocks has consolidated Enel's presence in the North African nation, where it is developing reserves that should begin production in 2018. With the acquisition of 15 percent of the country's gas exports, in addition to being Algeria's third largest client, Enel will contribute to the development of the country's considerable resources and maintaining its export capacity.