Sonatrach and Total have reportedly signed two agreements through a comprehensive partnership in 2017, with an aim to develop the Erg Issouane gas field in alliance and to form a joint venture known as Sonatrach Total Enterprise Polymères (STEP).
Apparently, the French oil company is a long-standing partner of the Tin Fouyé Tabankort (TFT) field. Estimated at more than 100 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), Sonatrach and Total would supposedly develop the TFT Sud permit located at Erg Issouane reserve. Representing an investment of about USD 400 million, the development would evidently be tied back, by a 22-kilometer-long gas pipeline, to the existing TFT gas treatment unit.
Citing reliable sources, the partners had signed a gas marketing agreement and the first gas is expected by the end of 2021. The concession contract would purportedly come into effect after being approved by the Algerian authorities.
Chairman and CEO of Total, Patrick Pouyanné, was quoted saying that these agreements mark a new milestone in developing the strategic partnership between the two companies and continues to develop gas reserves of the country, by providing their best technological expertise.
Further from the sources, STEP has the responsibility to carry out a petrochemical project in Arzew, which is located in western Algeria. This project, allegedly, includes a polypropylene production unit and a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit with an output capacity of 550,000 tons every year.
According to industry experts, both the partners are planning on starting the front-end engineering and design (FEED) from the month of November. Sources familiar with the matter claim that the project would seemingly enable to valorize the propane which is produced in huge quantities locally. Further, it is then transformed to polypropylene, the demand of which is growing rapidly. The French oil refining company is also reported to market bitumen and lubricants in Algeria.