Wintershall Dea agreed to acquire Edison SPA’s 11.25% participating interest in the Reggane Nord natural gas project in Algeria as part of a plan to grow its participation in the country, citing major potential for enhanced energy partnership with Europe.
Edison retained the project interest following an amendment to exclude its Algerian assets from a July 2019 purchase agreement with Energean Oil and Gas PLC as the two companies were unable to obtain consent of Algerian authorities (OGJ Online, July 8, 2019; Apr. 3, 2020).
Wintershall has been active in Algeria since 2002 and noted the country’s energy potential in a May 5 press release announcing the deal. Algeria is the third largest exporter of gas to Europe, after Russia and Norway; and is the largest natural gas producer in Africa. The country has developed infrastructure connections to Europe including two subsea gas pipelines and LNG infrastructure at two locations.
The company currently holds a 19.5% share in the concession and in 2020 signed a 2-year term memorandum of understanding with Sonatrach aimed at strengthening cooperation in the country (OGJ Online, Aug. 20, 2020).
Reggane Nord (Blocks 351c and 352c) comprises six gas fields (Azrafil Sud-Est, Kahlouche, Kahlouche Sud, Tiouliline, Sali, and Reggane) over an 1,800 sq km area in the Sahara Desert of southwestern Algeria. The project’s central processing facilities include a gas treatment plant, a gathering network, and a 74-km pipeline connecting the treatment plant to a new transmission line.
GRN marked first gas in 2017 and the project is expected to be in production until at least 2041 (OGJ Online, Dec. 19, 2017).
Upon closing—subject to authority approvals—the consortium Groupement Reggane Nord (GRN), operator of the project, will comprise Sonatrach (40%), Wintershall Dea (30.75%), and Repsol (29.25%).