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The Scotsman: Shell to spend $100 mln in Algeria

ALGIERS (Reuters) – Royal Dutch/Shell Group will spend more than $100 million (57 million pounds) in Algeria by 2008 on a range of activities including oil and gas exploration, a Shell executive said on Monday.
The Anglo-Dutch company will also seek to win further exploration deals in the north African country, Alex Trott, who handles external affairs for the venture support department of Shell Exploration and Production, told Reuters.
In April 2005, Shell won two of nine licences for oil and gas exploration.
“Our investments will exceed $100 million from now to 2008. We will continue to spend money here,” Trott said on the sidelines of an African oil ans gas conference.
“We are currently doing a lubricant exploration programme which began last year. We have made significant investments in Algeria,” he said.
Last February, Shell and Algeria's state energy group Sonatrach said they would consider building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) complex under a memorandum of understanding.
The memorandum also envisages the two companies studying ways to improve the performance of Sonatrach in the LNG and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sectors.
The two companies would also share upstream experience and expertise, especially in relation to projects involving non-conventional deposits of oil and gas.
The agreement also includes cooperation between the two companies in commercialising LNG.
Trott said Shell would bid in Algeria's next oil and gas licensing round which is expected to be launched by the end of 2006.
“We are interested in the seventh exploration licensing round which should happen this year. We want to strengthen our presence in this country,” he said.
Algeria's goal is to reach production of 1.5 million barrels per day of oil in 2006. It currently pumps 1.4 million bpd, and wants to reach two million bpd by 2010.
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