Dublin firm approved for Algeria gas plan

Petroceltic — the Dublin- headquartered oil and gas exploration firm — has received formal final regulatory approval for the development of the Isarene/Ain Tsila gas field in Algeria.

The company recently increased its geographical presence to take in Black Sea assets in Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, and Egypt via the €210m reverse takeover of British firm, Melrose Resources.

Petroceltic holds a 56.6% stake in Ain Tsila, having sold an 18.4% stake to Italian energy giant Enel. Local exploration firm Sonatrach controls the remaining 25% of the field, viewed as being one of the biggest gas finds in the world.

The approved plan of development for the headline asset will see the production of gross reserves of 2.1 trillion cubic feet of sales gas, 67m barrels of condensate and 108m barrels of liquid petroleum gas. Development planning will begin next year, with first gas production scheduled for the third quarter of 2017.

Petroceltic is still looking at selling a further part of its stake in Ain Tsila, but no timeframe for a deal has been given. It could sell to a new partner, or to one of the two existing co-owners.

Chief executive Brian O’Cathain yesterday called the final approval “a major milestone” for the company; allowing Petroceltic and its partners to move forward to focus on implementing the development plan.

“The regulatory approval of the plan of development should also allow Petroceltic to book the reserves associated with this asset, and to finalise the outstanding financial arrangements associated with the farm-in by Enel, which was completed earlier this year,” he said.

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