Italian multinational energy firm Eni and state-owned Sonatrach have made a significant discovery of oil and gas reserves in the Zemlet el Arbi concession in Algeria.

Sonatrach, with a 51% stake and Eni with the remaining 49%, made the discovery as part of the HDLE-1 exploration prospect, in which the two parties discovered light oil in the Triassic sandstones of Tagi Formation.

The project is estimated to have around 140 million barrels of oil reserves in place and is expected to play a significant role in helping Algeria to boost its oil and gas production to meet local demand and to sustain its energy exports following a decline from 1.2 million bpd in 2010 to approximately 927 thousand bpd in 2021, according to a new report published by research firm Rystad Energy and the African Energy Chamber.

A total of five wells are expected to be drilled in the Berkine basin by Eni and Sonatrach, including the HDLE-2 well, starting in April, 2022.