Sonatrach and Italian contractor Saipem have agreed to end a legal dispute over four contracts in Algeria, Saipem announced 14 February. The firm will pay Sonatrach $150-200mn, Sonatrach president Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour says. The deal is the result of “constructive dialogue” and is an “important step forward” in the relationship between the two companies, said Saipem. The firms plan to work together on an offshore project, said Mr Ould Kaddour.

The four contracts in dispute were for construction of a gas liquefaction plant in Arzew; three LPG trains, an oil separation unit and condensate production units at Hassi Messaoud; the 24” LZ2 LPG pipeline and pumping station at Hassi R’Mel; and a gas production unit in the Menzel Ledjmet field. The International Court of Arbitration ruled in December that Saipem should pay $135mn in compensation to Sonatrach for the loss of production stemming from the LPG pipeline project. (CONTINUED - 176 WORDS)