By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Dec. 26 -- Algerian oil and gas company Sonatrach Monday awarded five exploration contracts totaling $100 million to international oil firms, OPEC News Agency reported.
Sonatrach signed production-sharing contracts with China National Petroleum Corp. for two blocks; and with Calgary-based Petro-Canada; a consortium of Madrid-based Repsol-YPF SA, Hamburg-based RWE-DEA, and Edison International SPA of Italy; and a joint venture of Spain's CEPSA SA and Total SA of France.
The blocks, which are in Algeria's southwestern region covering 47,000 sq km, were awarded following the country's fourth international open tender.
Sonatrach said this latest round of exploration bidding is part of its plan to double its oil production capacity by 2005 and to increase the number of foreign companies operating in the country.
During the past 3 years, the company has signed 22 production-sharing contracts with international companies.