Sonatrach has awarded a $2.3bn (AD309.26bn) engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to a consortium for gas-boosting work on a key field in Algeria. 

The consortium, which comprises Baker Hughes and Tecnimont, will work on the Hassi R’Mel gas field. 

Located 550km south of Algiers, Hassi R’Mel is said to be crucial to Algeria’s energy system and serves as a vital energy source for Europe.  

The scope of the project includes the construction of three new gas boosting stations including turbo compressors and the upgrade of more than 300km of existing gas-gathering flowlines.  

Approximately 188 million standard cubic metres of natural gas will be compressed per day by the turbo compressors. 

Project completion is expected within 39 months from the effective date of the contract. 

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Baker Hughes is tasked with supplying 20 compression trains that utilise Frame 5 gas turbine and BCL compressor technology.  

These will be distributed across the three stations. The packaging, manufacturing and testing of these compressor trains will be conducted at the company’s facilities in Italy. 

The new boosting stations and upgraded gathering system are designed to maintain gas pressure throughout the pipeline network.  

This is aimed at ensuring efficient gas flow and providing a steady and uninterrupted natural gas supply to Italy and the wider European market. 

Apart from the EPC contract, Sonatrach has also signed an agreement with US energy major ExxonMobil to assess the potential for developing hydrocarbon resources in Algeria’s Ahnet and Gourara basins. 

Last week, Sonatrach and Italy’s Eni signed a memorandum of understanding to initiate research and exploitation work in the Zemoul El Kbar, Rourde El Louh – Sif Fatima and Rhourde Messaoud Nord areas.