Enel S.p.A., an Italian electric utility company, has announced that the upstream joint venture in which Enel holds a 13.475% stake has discovered natural gas in the South-East Illizi basin, located in southeastern Algeria.
Tests carried out by the Joint Venture in the Tihalatine South-1 well (TIHS-1), produced gas flows for 105,000 m3/day. Enel's partners in the venture are Spanish company Repsol, Operator of the Joint Venture with a 25.725% stake, French utility GDF SUEZ with a 9.8% stake and Sonatrach, the Algerian national hydrocarbons company, with a 51% stake.
The recent discovery confirmed Tihalatine South-1's hydrocarbon potential. Additional evaluation works will be carried out by the Joint Venture to assess any further potential of the well. Tihalatine South-1 was the first well from the exploration campaign launched by the Joint Venture in July 2011, which involves the drilling of four additional wells.
The new discovery follows the South East Illizi field exploration and exploitation agreement signed in March 2010 by Enel with Repsol, Sonatrach and GDF SUEZ. In August 2012, Enel and its partners Sonatrach and Petroceltic declared commerciality of the Isarene field in Algeria, another partnership in which Enel has an 18.375% stake. The Isarene field is expected to start production by 2017.
In April 2012, Enel and its partners in the SeverEnergia joint venture in Russia, in which Enel holds a 19,6% stake, started gas production at current capacity of 2.2 bcm per year. Such capacity is set to exceed 30 bcm upon reaching the joint venture's production plateau in 2020.