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Indonesian Government-backed energy company Pertamina has secured a long-term extension to its contract to develop the Menzel Ledjmet Nord (MLN) oil and gas block in Algeria.

Under the 35-year contract, Pertamina will develop the MLN oil field in the Sahara Desert.

The MLN block has a capacity of 35,000 barrels of oil per day and also comprises 58 solar panels generating 1,141 kilowatt-hours per year.

PT Pertamina (Persero) president director Nicke Widyawati said the MLN block is one of the main contributors to Algeria’s foreign oil production.

Nicke said: “Acquiring oil and gas blocks overseas with the concept of ‘bring the barrel home’ is a strategic step for Pertamina to maintain national energy security.”

This latest contract is an extension of a current one for the development of the field that the Indonesian company entered in 2014 following acquisition of the participating stake of US oil company ConocoPhillips, reported Nikkei Asia.

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By GlobalData

In addition, the company has secured permission to build an LPG plant with a capacity of one million metric tonnes per year.

“With this breakthrough, we hope to reduce LPG imports and strengthen Indonesia’s trade balance,” Nicke added.

In February this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that Chevron was holding talks to sign a deal with Algeria to undertake gas exploration work as the North African country looks to replace gas supplies from Russia due to Western sanctions on Moscow.