Italian oil and gas company Eni has started production from two gas fields in Algeria to meet the surging gas demand in the European market.

The two fields are related to the Berkine Sud contract that was signed in December 2021 between Algeria state-owned oil company Sonatrach and Eni.

In a statement, Sonatrach said: “The start of production of these two fields took place in September 2022, i.e. only six months after the entry into force of the said contract, thanks to development in accelerated mode [Fast-Track].”

The Algerian firm said the two fields will increase the daily production rate by one million standard cubic metres per day of gas, and 4,000 barrels of associated liquids.

By the end of this year, the two fields’ production capacity is anticipated to reach two million cubic metres.

“These additional quantities, added to the quantities produced by the two Berkine Nord fields, which entered production in July 2022, increase the volumes of gas produced by the SONATRACH – Eni association and contribute to the increase in Algerian gas exports intended for the market,” Sonatrach noted.

Last month, Eni signed a deal to acquire BP’s upstream business in Algeria, including stakes in the ‘In Amenas’ and ‘In Salah’ gas production fields.

The acquisition included BP’s 45.89% stake in the In Amenas concession, and a 33.15% interest in the In Salah concession.

BP operates the two concessions through joint ventures with Norway’s Equinor and Sonatrach.

In 2023, Eni’s daily production capacity in Algeria is anticipated to reach more than 120,000 barrels of oil equivalent.