US-independent Anadarko on 11 November formally withdrew a bid to take over Apache, the day after reports of an unsolicited $18bn offer emerged. It remains to be seen if Anadarko returns with a revised offer. But, at least as far as North Africa is concerned, MEES analysis of the two companies' assets indicates that they could be a good fit.

Algeria is Anadarko’s key regional area of operations. Here Anadarko operates facilities that handle a whopping 372,000 b/d (for Q3) of oil output, almost a third of the country’s total (see graph), though tight contractual terms mean that the net figure is far lower. A key boost came in 2013 with the start-up of the 140,000 b/d El Merk project. (CONTINUED - 307 WORDS)