ALGIERS, Algeria, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Signing a deal to develop a natural gas field in southern Algeria will help promote growth for state-energy company Sonatrach, its top executive said.
A Sonatrach partnership with French energy company GDF Suez, Groupement TouatGaz, signed a contract with Spanish company Tecnicas Reunidas for the development of the Touat field in southwest Algeria.
The contract covers the initial phase of field development, which includes construction of a natural gas treatment complex. GDF Suez said the natural gas field is expected to launch in 2016 and produce more than 155 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year.
"I am very happy with the signing of this contract for a project that once again gives concrete expression to the choice of a partnership as strategic development option in the determination to promote Sonatrach's growth," Chief Executive Officer Abdelhamid Zerguine said in a statement Thursday.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said natural gas production from member state Algeria is in decline because of a lack of investments.
Employees with international and national energy companies working in Algeria died in a January attack on the In Amenas gas complex in eastern Algeria. Militants sympathetic to al-Qaida conducted the attack in response to an Algerian decision to let French forces use their airspace for an intervention in neighboring Mali.