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  • June 19, 2007 -- Employment offers made by national and foreign companies in the region of Ain Saleh in Tamnrasset (southern Algeria) have provoked anger among jobless people who protest against injustice in terms of employment conditions.

    They feel that they are marginalised and threaten to use violence if the employment issue is still managed in non-transparent and unfair ways.

    Riots were sparked on April 27th, 2002, because of unemployment in Ain Saleh, the biggest gas area in Algeria.

    Dozens of jobless young people took to the streets and protested against the manpower bureau that is responsible for passing employment offers coming from national and foreign companies.

    Protesters burnt public facilities and destroyed the town of Ain Saleh in a few hours. These riots led to the creation of a local agency for employment in 2004.

    People in Ain Saleh suffer from unemployment although this region is rich in natural gas.

    The number of jobless people registered with the local agency is estimated at more than 3,500 in addition to 100 new job applications per month.

    According to officials in the local employment agency, the problem of employment is caused by the “severe” conditions imposed by companies, especially the foreign ones, with regard to hiring employees, such as the requirement of diplomas and experience.

    On the other hand, the local employment agency does not respect the deadline fixed by the companies; that’s why they hire workers from anywhere in Algeria, according to an official in the local agency.


    • June 20, 2007 -- Algeria and Angola are fast becoming Africa's leading oil exporters to the United States of America, following the economic-crippling activities of militants in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria. The Niger Delta, Nigeria's main oil and gas basin, has been a flashpoint since 2002 when the re-election politics of some former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors in the area, became gun-boat politics.

      The current insurgency took roots in 2004, when the aggrieved armed youths of the oil and gas region took to the creeks, causing global oil prices to hit the roof. As at today, well-informed Nigeria National Petroluem Corporation (NNPC) sources in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, are claiming that Nigeria's oil production has been reduced by some 40 per cent following the activities of armed militias in the region.

      The U.S. as at 2006, is said to be importing more crude oil from Africa than it does from the Middle East. Available Energy Information Administration data tend to show that in 2006, Africa pumped 2.23 million barrels per day into the U.S. market. This, according to industry watchers, marked the first time the U.S. received more oil from Africa than from the Middle East.

      Middle Eastern imports have been declining for three consecutive years, although the area is still a big supplier to the U.S., providing some 2.22 million barrels per day.

      However, two African oil giants - Algeria and Angola - according to those who know better, are witnessing an impressive up-tick in the volume of crude oil exported to the U.S. For instance, in December 2006, crude oil bound for the U.S. market from Angola rose by 41 percent when compared to the year-earlier period. Angola, OPEC’s newest member, supplied an average of 513,000 barrels of crude per day throughout 2006.

      Meanwhile, Algerian crude exports to the U.S. jumped by 57 percent to 357,000 barrels daily, its highest level since 1980. Algeria is also a big products supplier to the U.S. market, to which it provided about 300,000 barrels of products per day in 2006.

      While other African producers are trending up, Nigeria, supposedly the giant of Africa, is going the other direction. Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest oil exporter saw a 3.2 percent decline in the volume of crude oil shipments to the U.S. in 2006, a reduction primarily due to violence in the Niger Delta.

      But despite the militants uprising, Nigeria still shipped slightly more than one million barrels of crude per day. But Nigeria’s oil output remains about 20 percent below historic levels.Sources say it might even be worse this year if the demands of the people of the oil region are not met.

      Generally, the peoples of the Niger Delta are demanding an enhanced oil revenue of not less than 50 per cent, abrogation of all unjust laws that impoverish and dispossess them of their resources as well as environmental justice.


      • ALGIERS (Thomson Financial) - Algerian state oil company Sonatrach said it has made four new oil discoveries in the Berkine and Gurara basins, in the Algerian part of the Sahara desert.

        Two of these discoveries were made by Sonatrach alone and the two others were made in conjunction with U.S. oil company Anadarko and Norway's Statoil, Sonatrach said.

        Since the beginning of this year, Sonatrach said it has announced 12 discoveries, of which five were made without partners and seven with partners.


        • June 21, 2007 -- Algerian energy minister Chakib Khelil will Thursday attend the 4th ministerial energy meeting between the European Union (EU) and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, capital of Austria, the Algerian News Agency (APS) reported Wednesday.

          The minister, who will be leading a high-ranking Algerian delegation, is expected to address the opening session of the meeting in his capacity as vice-president of the OPEC, according to the APS.

          During the meeting, the participants will notably review recent changes in energy policies, developments in the petroleum market and future activities between the EU and OPEC.

          In addition, Khelil will hold discussions with high-ranking EU officials on the sidelines of the meeting, according to the same source.

          The hydrocarbon sector plays an important role in the economic development of Algeria, with hydrocarbon exports fetching about 98 percent of the country's total foreign exchange.


          • OSLO, June 21, 2007 (Thomson Financial) - Statoil ASA said its latest well in Algeria's Sahara Desert has proven the presence of gas, although no details were given on the size of the find.

            The discovery, Statoil said, is at the Hassi Mouina licence, which consists of four blocks within a 23,000 square-kilometre area in the Gourara basin.

            Norwegian oil giant Statoil has a 75% interest in Hassi Mouina, while partner Sonatrach has the remaining 25%.


            • June 21, 2007 -- Operator Statoil and partner Sonatrach have completed and tested exploration well number two in the Hassi Mouina licence, in the Sahara Desert in Algeria.

              The partners have proven and tested gas in sandstones of Devonian age in the Hassi Tidjerane West (HTJW-1) well.

              In March this year, both companies completed drilling operations in the first exploration and appraisal well, Hassi Tidjerane 2 (HTJ-2).

              "We are satisfied with the drilling operation and the result from the well," says Bill Maloney, senior vice president for global exploration (GEX).

              The partners have now completed their licence obligations.

              "Results from the first two wells give us valuable information. However, it is still early days and we will continue our licence exploration programme in order to further map the resource potential in the block" he said.

              The next location for the rig is Tinerkouk (TNK-1) south in the licence, where a third well will be drilled.

              The Hassi Mouina licence was awarded in June 2004. It comprises four blocks within a 23,000 square-kilometre area in the Gourara basin, an area equivalent to half the size of Denmark.

              The area lies in the western Sahara in Algeria, north-west of the In Salah gas field in which Statoil has a 31.85% interest.

              Statoil has a 75% interest in Hassi Mouina. Partner Sonatrach has 25%.


              • June 21, 2007 -- Losses at exploration company Petroceltic last year widened to $6.5m from $2.4m in 2005, according to its annual results.

                This was mainly due to the $5.7m write-off of exploration costs, mainly linked to the drilling of a well off Donegal which was abandoned.

                Turnover rose by 26% to just under $1.3m. This represents royalty income from the Kinsale gas fields and was a result of higher gas prices.

                During the year, Petroceltic made has discoveries at two wells in Algeria.


                • Originally posted by Al-khiyal View Post
                  LONDON, June 21, 2007 (Thomson Financial) - Petroceltic International PLC saw annual losses pile up but assured its funds are sufficient to support an aggressive plan to search for oil and gas in Tunisia and Algeria.

                  Pretax loss in the year widened to $US 6.6 million from $US 2.4 million last time, after booking $US 5.7 million in exploration cost write-off related mainly to the failed Donegal drilling project in Ireland. Turnover rose to $US 1.26 million from 1 million, mainly consisting of royalty income from the gas produced from the Kinsale Head fields.

                  The AIM-listed group said it is 'financially robust' and debt-free, with end-2006 cash resources totalling $US 33.4 million.

                  'Petroceltic has got the team and the financing in place to continue its growth, and an exciting year lies ahead,' said chairman Brian O'Cathain, who took on his role in April, replacing Brian Cusack.

                  The group is hoping to bring in new partners in its Tunisian and Algerian projects and is currently in 'active discussions' with interested parties, he said.

                  'Our intention is to bring in joint venture partners in order to diversify the risk and reduce the cost,' O'Cathain told Thomson Financial News, adding Petroceltic needs at least $US 50 million for its drilling projects, which involve five to six wells in Algeria alone.

                  Petroceltic intends to remain the operator and key shareholder of these fields even with the entry of new investors, he added.

                  It holds a 75% stake in the Algerian fields, which have estimated un-risked in-place gas resources of 13 trillion cubic feet. In Tunisia, it owns a 57% interest in the projects there, which have un-risked potential recoverable reserves of about 312 million barrels of oil. None of these fields are about to start production soon.

                  The group is also considering acquisitions as a strategy to build the business, said O'Cathain.

                  At 11.25 am, Petroceltic shares were unchanged at 13-1/4 pence.


                  • MADRID, June 21 (Reuters) - Spanish energy company Cepsa on Thursday said it planned to invest 5.04 billion euros ($6.75 billion) between 2007 and 2011 on a gas pipeline, maintaining reserves and boosting distillates production.

                    The company, in which France's Total and Spanish bank Santander have major stakes, will spend money on maintaining its oil and gas reserves and on the Medgaz gas pipeline project from Algeria to Spain.

                    It also hopes to boost distillates production, especially at its La Rabida refinery in southern Spain, by 3 million tonnes a year, Cepsa said at its annual shareholder meeting.


                    • DUBLIN, Ireland, June 21, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of "Algeria Oil & Gas Wallmap" to their offering.

                      This is a detailed wall map of Algeria showing the latest information about the country's oil and gas infrastructure.

                      The map shows active licences, operators, fields and exploration & appraisal well locations in Algeria. The map also gives locations of existing and planned pipelines and LNG terminals.

                      In addition, an extensive legend charts the split between discovered and remaining reserves, liquids and gas production (2000-2010) and E&A drilling statistics between 1984 and 2004.

                      The map allows clients to gain a rapid appreciation of:

                      * The scale and nature of the oil and gas business in Algeria
                      * Which operators are active in the country
                      * The location of the main oil and gas projects
                      * The level of infrastructure
                      * Trends in exploration and production
                      * Reserves maturity

                      This map is invaluable to anyone interested in the Algeria energy sector. You are able to purchase the map from the company's website.


                      • Jeudi 21 juin 2007 -- A partir de décembre 2009, les premières quantités de gaz naturel liquéfié algérien seront réceptionnées par l’Inde, a indiqué hier le secrétaire indien au pétrole, M. Srinivasan, dont les propos ont été rapportés par le journal local Times of India.

                        M. Srinivasan a indiqué qu’un accord entre les deux pays, en vertu duquel l’Algérie exporterait 1,25 million de tonnes de GNL vers l’Inde annuellement, sera signé incessamment. La transaction devrait être conclue entre la compagnie nationale des hydrocarbures Sonatrach et la compagnie indienne Petronet LNG Ltd.

                        «Nous essayons d’obtenir un contrat d’approvisionnement de 25 ans qui devrait prendre effet dès décembre 2009», a révélé M. Srinivasan, sans donner de précisions sur le montant du contrat. L’intérêt de l’Inde pour le GNL algérien a été exprimé en avril dernier, lors de la visite en Algérie du ministre indien du Pétrole et du Gaz, Murli Deora, accompagné d’une importante délégation composée de responsables d’entreprises de son secteur.

                        Il avait déclaré, à cette occasion, que «l’Inde est intéressée par l’achat du GNL et aussi du GPL» algériens. La visite a été couronnée par la signature d’un procès-verbal de coopération énergétique couvrant les diverses possibilités de coopération entre les deux pays, notamment dans l’exploration et la production des hydrocarbures, la commercialisation du GNL et du GPL ainsi que la formation et la recherche-développement.

                        Le ministre de l’Energie et des Mines, M. Chakib Khelil, avait déclaré que Sonatrach et ses filiales Naftec et Naftal ont convenu avec les entreprises énergétiques indiennes de développer des relations dans tous les domaines, que ce soit dans l’exploration, l’engineering ou la pétrochimie.

                        L’inde possède trois terminaux de GNL. Le premier, d’une capacité de 5 millions de tonnes par an, a été construit en 2004 par Petronet, alors que le second a été construit par la compagnie Shell et le troisième est rattaché à la centrale électrique de Dabhol.

                        Sonatrach produit quelque 62 milliards de m3 de gaz par an dont la moitié sous forme de GNL et prévoit de porter cette quantité à 85 milliards de m3 d’ici à 2010. Forte d’une grande expérience dans le domaine, la compagnie nationale compte jouer l’un des tout premiers rôles sur la scène internationale, d’autant que d’importants projets sont en cours dans le pays et notamment celui de Gassi Touil.


                        • MADRID, June 21, 2007 (Thomson Financial) - Cia Espanola de Petroleos SA chairman Carlos Perez de Bricio said he expects energy watchdog the CNE to revise its decision on Sonatrach's role in the management of the Medgaz gas pipeline project.

                          The CNE approved the Algerian state-owned company's decision to raise its Medgaz stake to 36% from a previous 20%, but imposed eight conditions, including, most importantly, that the regulator could veto certain decisions made by Sonatrach which might affect Spain's public security.

                          Speaking to journalists, de Bricio said: 'I think (the decision) will be revised... there will be negotiations, as happened in the case of Iberdrola.'

                          At the beginning of this month, the CNE permitted the Basque utility to raise its Medgaz stake to 20% from a previous 12%.

                          Cepsa also has 20% of Medgaz, while Endesa SA and GDF have 12% each.

                          Cepsa CEO Dominique De Riberolles said the CNE's conditions on Sonatrach's position prevent the company from 'functioning normally... they'll be appealed.'


                          • Originally posted by Al-khiyal View Post
                            June 21, 2007 -- On the sidelines of the meeting, the Algerian Energy and Mines Minister, Mr. Chakib Khelil, conferred today in Vienna, Austria, with the European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs with whom he discussed the latest developments in the European gas market

                            The discussions between Mr. Khelil and Mr. Peilbalgs were held on the sidelines of the 4th Ministerial meeting on Energy Dialogue between the European Union and OPEC, now being held in the Austrian capital.

                            Talks between the two sides ended on a conciliatory note, however, with the EU promising to share more data with OPEC about consumption forecasts.

                            The Trans-Saharan gas flowline (TSGP) which is due to supply Europe with Nigerian gas via Algeria was also on the agenda. In this respect, Mr Chakib Khelil urged the European Union to support the project.

                            Algeria, which looks directly at investing in the gas supply activities on the European market, supplies some 12% of European needs in natural gas, notably through two flow lines crossing Italy and Spain and also by supplying more and more LNG to Europe.

                            Outside the proceedings of this OPEC- EU meeting, Mr. Khelil also had a meeting with German Economy and Technology Minister Mr. Michael Glos, whose country now presides over the European Union.

                            During his encounter with the German minister, Mr. Khelil expounded the great energy potential offered by Algeria to German businesses as well the prospects for an enhanced partnership between the two countries in this sector of activity.

                            Taking the floor, earlier in the day, at the beginning of the proceedings of the OPEC-EU meeting, Khelil hailed the quality of dialogue between OPEC and the EU since its onset as well as the future promising prospects between the two sides.


                            • June 21, 2007 -- The Medgaz company is to lodge an appeal with the Spanish Industry Ministry against the latest conditions imposed by the Spanish National Energy Commission (CNE) pertaining to the increase by the Algerian oil and gas company Sonatrach of its shareholding in Medgaz capital from 20 to 36%.

                              This was announced today by the delegate advisor of the Spanish Petroleum company CEPSA, Mr. Dominique de Riberolles.

                              In a press conference before the CEPSA Board of Directors’ meeting, Mr. de Riberolles underlined that the conditions imposed by the CNE on Sonatrach were undermining the smooth running of the Medgaz company.

                              CEPSA’s executive officer indicated that the conditions imposed on Sonatrach had affected the whole Medgaz project and not only the Algerian oil and gas company.

                              The Chief Executive Officer of CEPSA, Mr. Carlos Perez de Bricio, said that the conditions imposed by the Spanish National Energy Commission were excessive, adding that the current stand maintained by Sonatrach was logical.

                              CEPSA’s CEO also added that he was confident the misunderstanding would be quickly sorted out.

                              "I think the Spanish National Energy Commission’s stance will be revised," said Mr. de Bricio.

                              The CNE approved Sonatrach’s recent decision to raise its Medgaz stake to 36% from a previous 20%, but imposed eight conditions, including, most importantly, that the regulator could veto certain decisions made by Sonatrach which might allegedly affect Spain’s public security.


                              • June 21, 2007 -- Funnene er ifølge Statoil gjort i undersøkelsesbrønn nummer to på Hassi Mouina-lisensen i Sahara-ørkenen i Algerie.

                                Boreoperasjonen i den første lete- og avgrensingsbrønnen, Hassi Tidjerane 2 ble avsluttet i mars i år.

                                Vi er tilfredse med boreoperasjonen og resultatet fra brønnen, sier Bill W. Maloney, direktør for Global exploration i Internasjonal undersøkelse og produksjon i pressemeldingen.

                                Resultater fra de to første brønnene gir oss verdifull informasjon, men vi er fortsatt i en tidlig fase og fortsetter nå på vårt leteprogram for å kartlegge ressurspotensialet i blokken, sier Maloney.

                                Hassi Mouina lisensen består av fire blokker og boreriggen er nå flyttet til neste lokasjon sør i lisensen, hvor en tredje brønn - Tinerkouk - skal bores.

                                Statoil har en andel på 75 prosent i Hassi Mouina. Sonatrach er partner med 25 prosent.


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