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Spanish Cepsa wants to increase Medgaz pipeline capacity

Algeria is going to export more gas to Europe via the Medgaz gas pipeline, said Pedro Miro, the managing director of the Spanish company Cepsa, which belongs to Mubadala Investment Company, Sonatrach’s partner in the project.

Recall that last October, Cepsa sold its stake of 42.09% in the company operating the gas pipeline connecting Algeria to Spain, Medgaz, for 500 million euros to its sole shareholder, the investment fund based in Abu Dhabi Mubadala, as part of its IPO for which Mubadala will acquire between 25% and 28% of Cepsa. Indeed, Cepsa plans to set up additional capacity soon, announced his DG. “The nominal capacity is currently 8 billion cubic meters this year and would be increased to 10.5 billion cubic meters with the new compressor,” Pedro Miro told The National newspaper in an interview in Abu Dhabi.

“The pipeline has three compressors, one operational, one inactive and one in reserve. It will increase the flow of this pipeline by 20 to 25%, “he explained, without setting a timetable for this new schedule. The final decision on additional capacity has not yet been made, but Miro said the program “was almost complete” as soon as the new compressor was installed. Last September, Sonatrach’s CEO, Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, said that Algeria wanted to increase gas exports to Spain by expanding the Medgaz pipeline while maintaining its supplies via the GME link crossing Morocco.

Algeria is currently exporting gas via the two gas pipelines to Spain – with volumes totaling 14.5 billion cubic meters in 2017 – but Sonatrach wants to be able to increase its exports by putting on line several new major gas projects in the United States. years to come. Sonatrach has begun construction on a new 197 km pipeline that could divert gas from the GME pipeline to Medgaz, but Ould Kaddour said it would not necessarily mean that transit through Morocco would stop, but would give the company more flexibility in its exports to Spain.

“One of our goals is to continue to produce more gas and to transport more gas to Europe and especially to Spain,” he said. “We are currently transporting 8 billion m³ / year via Medgaz and we are installing a turbocharger to 10 billion m³ / year,” he added. According to a technical source from Sonatrach, with the addition of more turbochargers, Medgaz’s capacity could then be increased to 16 billion cubic meters per year by 2020. As a reminder, Cepsa sources fuel in the vast field of Hassi R’mel, in the south of the country, to the port of Beni Saf, then to Almeria, on the south-east coast of Spain .

In addition, the Spanish company launched its first natural gas field in Algeria in March in Timimoun, with an expected daily production of five million cubic meters at maximum production. Sonatrach will be the main partner with a 51% stake and the French group Total, with a 37.75% stake, with the remaining stake going to Cepsa. The field includes 37 producing wells that are expected to supply the Medgaz pipeline from the Hassi R’mel field. “We did a lot of evaluation on that block and made a discovery that went beyond our block,” said Miro.

In January, Cepsa and Sonatrach also signed an exploration contract with Alnaft, the Algerian National Resources Development Agency, to exploit the Rhoude el Krouf oil field in the eastern basin of Berkine. The 25-year deal provides for a major “redevelopment of a mature oil field”, in production for 25 years, said Cepsa in a statement. The project is expected to cost $ 1 billion and will include 30 new wells. Treatment facilities are expected to have a collective capacity of 24,000 barrels of oil per day.

Source: el watan


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