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Friday, March 19, 2010    

Russian oil giant begins drilling in Algeria

MOSCOW — Russia's state-owned energy monopoly has begun drilling its first well in Algeria.   

Russia's Gazprom said it was drilling an exploration well in the El Assel region in Algeria.

Gazprom said the onshore well marked the first such effort in Algeria as well as the rest of Africa.

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In a statement on March 15, Gazprom said the Algerian project was being conducted in cooperation with the Algerian National Hydrocarbon Agency.

The company said the well, Rhourde Sayah-2, was one of four wells that would be drilled in the El Assel region, which comprises more than 3,000 square kilometers.

Executives said Rhourde Sayah-2 would be completed in June 2010.

They said the remaining three wells in El Assel, estimated to contain 300 million barrels of oil or natural gas equivalent, would be drilled by early 2012.

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