Eni expresses interest in Algerian energy

July 19, 2013 at 7:00 AM

ALGIERS, Algeria, July 19 (UPI) -- Italian energy company Eni said Algeria's shale natural gas potential and deep water reserves remain attractive prospects for the company.

Eni started working in Algeria in the 1980s and is working to develop 24 exploration areas. The company said its daily production as of last year was approximately 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

Eni Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni, who traveled Thursday to Algeria to meet with Algerian Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi, said the company would train technicians from its counterparts in state energy company Sonatrach to perform new exploration activities in deep Algerian waters.

Both sides "also discussed future developments of cooperation between Eni and Sonatrach for the exploration and development of shale gas," the company said in a statement.

Eni offered no estimate of the reserve potential in its areas of interest.

Officials from Russian energy company Gazprom met with Algerian officials early this week. It estimates Algeria holds 160 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Algerian natural gas production has been in decline because of a lack of foreign investments. Its legacy was tarnished in part by a terrorist attack at the In Amenas natural gas complex in early 2013.

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