Abdelmoumen Ould-Kaddour, CEO  Sonatrach Abdelmoumen Ould-Kaddour, CEO Sonatrach Algérie Patriotique

Sonatrach Won’t Be Sold - CEO Featured

Business & Economy / Monday, 12 February 2018 06:37

The government of Algeria is not about to divest its ownership of the country’s national oil corporation, SONATRAC. This was made known during the weekend by the corporation’s CEO, Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour during his visit to the facilities of company’s GR5 gas pipeline in Hassi R’mel, Laghouat province of Algeria.   Speaking on the fate of the company,  Mr. Kaddour, confirmed that it  "is and will remain wholly owned by the state. There is no question of giving away any of it”. The clarification was necessitated by a seemingly contradictory position allegedly presented on the issue  by SonatrachVice President,  Salah Mekmouche, during an interview on  national radio  last week.  According to Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, his Vice President’s statement was misconstrued, as  “share transfers” the Vice President spoke about, was in reference to  “prospecting of blocs in Algerian oil fields”, not company shares. 

 Like other national oil corporations, Sonatrachinvites for bids from major international oil firms, to prospect for hydrocarbon in the country’s oil fields, as the oil majors alone have the financial muscle and technological know-how to conduct operations in manners desired by the government. This “does not in any way equates to sales of Sonatrachshares”, but rather a contribution of resources by bid winners to develop Algerian oil fields in partnership with Sonatrach.    He  emphasised that it is the Algerian State, through Sonatrachthat designs the economic strategy for joint partnership operations and risk sharing agreement between the company. The governing principle for such agreements always was and still remains 51% of Algeria, and 49% for the multinational oil companies.  “The foreign partners are needed to the extent that they can assist in sustaining investment required to maintain capacity in existing projects as well as providing resources required to develop new fields”. On issues relating to the “opening of the company's capital, sale of shares in the subsidiaries or the modification of the 51/49% rule”, Mr. Kaddour said his Vice President “never been mentioned” said nothing of such nature in the “interview granted”.

Algeria recently announced a five year development plan worth $56 billion, to reposition its oil and gas industry. Tis comes on the heels of Sonatrach’s successful  commissioning of its 760 km long “GR5” gas pipeline, developed to collect gas produced in 9 fields south west of Hassi R’Mel. The “GR5” will increase the country’s capacity to evacuate gas produced in remote fields from the 95 billion m³  of gas per year to 135 billion m³ per year. With local demand capacity stagnant at 45 billion m³ per year,  Sonatrach intends to export as much as billion m³ of gas produced in Algerian southern fields per year exported to Spain, Portugal, Slovenia and other European countries. 

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