Algerian state-firm Sonatrach’s aging Hassi Messaoud oil field received a much-needed boost late last month as an 850mn cfd gas compression and reinjection station aimed at maintaining production finally came online.

Whilst Sonatrach treats output figures for the giant Hassi Messaoud field, Algeria’s largest, as a closely guarded secret, what is no secret is that output has been in long-term decline. Sonatrach has awarded a slew of enhanced recovery contracts over the years in a bid to stem the losses. Adding together the latest compression project to come online and other projects underway ongoing spending at the field is almost $3bn (see table). (CONTINUED - 643 WORDS)