Algerian state oil and gas giant Sonatrach announced on 20 April it had signed an MoU with US major ExxonMobil to “initiate joint discussions on potential exploration and development opportunities in Algeria.” This follows a similar deal with compatriot Chevron last month, as well as ones with Turkey’s TPAO and Russia’s Zarubezhneft (MEES, 17 April). 

Algeria revised its oil law earlier this year hoping to encourage international oil firms back into its waning upstream sector (MEES, 10 January). It hopes to unlock supposedly massive shale gas reserves. But with oil prices at rock-bottom levels and oil firms cutting capex, Algeria’s chances of an oil and gas revival any time soon are slim.  (CONTINUED - 112 WORDS)