HAMBURG, Germany, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- German energy company RWE Dea announced it secured a permit to start exploration work in six natural gas fields in the Algerian desert.
Algerian authorities issued permits for RWE to start work in the Algerian Sahara.
Christoph Schlichter, a, RWE Dea senior vice president for North Africa, said the permit is an opportunity to expand its footprint in the region.
"We expect that we can start commercial gas production during the first half of 2016," he said in a statement.
The German company said it expects a constant production rate of around 282 million cubic feet of natural gas per day for the next 12 years. It will cost around $3 billion in capital spending for the development project.
Development will be conducted by a company set up by the project partners. RWE is a consortium member along with Spanish energy company Repsol, Italian energy company Edison and Algeria's state-owned Sonatrach.
"We are now faced with the task to prepare production from the six fields together with our partners," added Schlichter.