Algeria’s Sonatrach announced a new natural gas discovery at El Kheit Tessekha extension-1 well in the Menzel Ledjmat contract area of the Berkine basin, flowing with a rate of 44.18 million cubic feet per day.

The Algerian state oil firm Sonatrach, the sole operator of the permit, said that it made two smaller hydrocarbon finds on permits it operates in the Berkine and Oeud Mya basins.

Acreage in the Berkine basin has attracted interest from international firms. Last year Russia’s Russia’s Gazprom, one of the international firms with interest in the Berkine basin, took a stake in the basin’s El Assel permit and a consortium led by China’s CNOOC acquired the Hassi Bir Rekaiz permit.

Abdelhafid Feghouli, Sonatrach’s interim CEO, told reporters that the firm’s projects were going ahead as normal and not affected by the judicial investigation into allegations of corruption that led Sonatrach’s chief executive and several senior executives suspension.