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New Sonatrach CEO seals first LNG and gas deal with France

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LNG Journal editor

Sonatrach, the Algerian national energy company now under a new chief executive, said it signed medium-term and long-term LNG and pipeline natural gas contracts with French utility Engie, the last of its European customers to renew delivery agreements. 

“Through these agreements, both parties confirm and consolidate their long-term partnership,” said a statement.

Deliveries

“Sonatrach will deliver volumes of natural gas on the Trans-Mediterranean gas pipeline as well as in the form of LNG cargoes delivered to the Fos Tonkin import terminal,” it added.

The accords were signed several days after Sonatrach appointed a new Chief Executive, Kamel-Eddine Chikhi, on November 17.

The Sonatrach-Engie agreements were signed in Algiers by Ahmed Mazighi, Vice-President of Sonatrach, and Edouard Neviaski, Engie’s Global Energy Management Business Director.

New Sonatrach CEO Chikhi and Pierre Chareyre, joint director-general of the Engie group, were present at the signing.

Sonatrach has already renewed its LNG and pipeline contracts with other European customers, Naturgy of Spain, Galp Energia of Portugal, Botas of Turkey and Eni of Italy.

Algerian LNG exports have been falling and last year they dropped by 18.2 percent to 10.10 million tonnes compared with 12.34MT the previous year at its two liquefaction plants at Skikda and Arzew on the Mediterranean Coast.

Analysts said that Sonatrach faces a twin challenge in natural gas, as it does in oil, of aiming to maximise its exports while also meeting growing domestic demand.

The arrival of the new CEO comes as the Algerian state company is attempting to overhaul operations and reform its activities.

Sonatrach CEO Chikhi in his inauguration speech said that he would focus his efforts in exploration and production operations to increase the level of reserves that have been dwindling year by year and to guarantee long-term energy security for Algeria.

“It will be for us to focus our efforts on making better use of our production potential to better respond to growing national needs, and to keep our traditional international markets, especially those of LNG,” said the CEO.

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