Algeria’s Sonatrach wants to start its offshore oil drilling and has begun discussions with U.S. operators Exxon Mobil Corp and Anadarko, as well as Italy’s Eni, Reuters reported.
As Investopedia explained, while the Algerian company has experience drilling land-based wells, it needs to partner with an experienced offshore producer in order to take advantage of these oil resources.
However, the North African OPEC member nation has struggled to attract oil investment in recent years because of tough terms that have made foreign companies wary.
Recently, seismic scans have revealed potential oil reserves off the eastern coast of the city of Bejaia and the western port of Oran. With lower oil prices forcing the company to focus on developing mature wells in the Sahara Desert, offshore rigs could open up new growth opportunities.
“The offshore is complementary to our operations in the south. It will also contribute to boosting our output,” a source at Sonatrach told Reuters.
The source did not give any information on the timing or scale of any offshore projects.