Algeria this week inched closer to securing fresh investment under its new oil law. But it’s not quite there yet. State-firm Sonatrach and Italy’s Eni on 10 December signed their second upstream MoU this year “detailing the roadmap for a new hydrocarbon contract in the southern area of the Berkine Basin.”

What is more promising in this latest agreement, however, is the detail. Any new award would likely be close to Eni’s existing infrastructure in the Berkine Basin where all of its Algeria assets are located. But Algeria still has to finalize the oil law’s ‘implementation texts’ before it can make new awards under the new terms – something Energy Minister Abdelmadjid Attar told MEES last week was close to completion (MEES, 4 December). (CONTINUED - 300 WORDS)