ALGIERS, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese oil company Sinopec Overseas Oil and Gas Limited (SOOGL) and Algeria's oil giant Sonatrach signed here on Saturday a 490-million-U.S. dollars contract on oil and gas exploration in Algeria's Zarzaitine field, some 1,500 km southeast of Algiers.
According to a joint press release by the two companies, SOOGL and Sonatrach will cooperate in the drilling of new wells, the replenishment of existing wells, the revamping of oil facilities, and the reduction of carbon emissions. Under the contract, 95 million barrels of oil are expected to be produced.
Algeria's Minister of Energy and Mines Mohamed Arkab, who attended the signing ceremony, hailed Sinopec as a key partner for Sonatrach.
"The Chinese partner is experienced ... they will continue work together (with Sonatrach) on the basis of a win-win contract while sharing risks and costs, so as to search and explore more oil and gas, and to ultimately (help Algeria) reach national energy security over the medium and long term," he said before the signing ceremony.
Sonatrach's CEO Toufik Hakkar said the company aims to expand its oil and gas exploration capabilities in order to boost oil exports and meet growing local demand.
Sonatrach has earmarked an investment budget worth 40 billion U.S. dollars for the next five years for oil exploration, production, and refining, as well as gas exploration and extraction. ■