Woodside Energy Ltd. and BHP Petroleum have taken the first step in a long-term cooperative arrangement in North Africa.
Woodside will acquire a 15 percent interest in the Ohanet Risk Service Contract, a 50 percent stake in the Boukheckba Production Sharing Contract plus a 50 percent interest in the Ouest Hassi R'Mel Gas Study Agreement.
Woodside will pay BHP $22.5 million for the assets. The transaction is subject to approval from the Algerian government and Sonatrach, Algeria's national oil and gas company.
Woodside's involvement in the Ouest Hassi R'Mel Gas Study Agreement signals closer cooperation between Woodside and BHP in developing opportunities in Algeria and elsewhere in North Africa.
The gas study accord grants BHP rights to analyze seismic and well data covering about 84,000 square kilometers north and west of Algeria's strategic Hassi R'Mel gas field and puts the company in a strong position to pursue future exploration licenses in that area.
Woodside officials said the move was consistent with the company's focused strategy of international growth through development of self-sustaining businesses in a small number of countries.
BHP and its joint venture partners signed the Ohanet Risk Service Contract with Sonatrach in July 2000 for development of four gas and condensate reservoirs in Algeria's Ohanet region.
The Ohanet risk contract commits the joint venture to establish commercial production of 710 MMcf/d of gas. First production is planned for October 2003 with a peak liquids production rate of 58,000 b/d.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )