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2013: First oil achieved from El Merk
2009: Development of the El Merk project was sanctioned in 2009. The final stages of development and commissioning work are ongoing.
2002: Oil production begins from the Ourhoud field. The field has a separate CPF with a capacity of about 250,000 barrels of oil per day.
2002: The central production facility (CPF), located at the HBNS field, was expanded to 285,000 barrels of oil per day to accommodate additional production from the HBNS, HBN and the Block 404 satellite fields.
1998: The HBNS field was brought on production with an initial production capacity of 60,000 barrels of oil per day.
1998: Development drilling begins.
1994: Discovery of the Ourhoud field, one of the largest oil fields in Algeria, located in the south-eastern corner of Block 404.
1990: Exploration activities begin. Over 30 exploration wells have been drilled, resulting in 16 field discoveries. The initial discoveries were the El Merk (EMK) and El Merk East (EME) fields in Block 208. These were followed by the discovery of three major oil fields in Block 404: Hassi Berkine (HBN), Hassi Berkine South (HBNS) and Ourhoud. Later, nine satellite fields were discovered in Block 404.
Export of the produced oil takes place through a 30” pipeline linking with Algeria’s export infrastructure to the north and produced condensate and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will be exported through two 16” pipelines to Gassi Touil to the west.
Through its participation as a non-operator, Maersk Oil has worked with Sonatrach, Anadarko and Eni to provide technical input into the exploration and development phases of the project. The three major projects in Algeria are particularly significant for broadening Maersk Oil’s onshore expertise, complementing the Dunga Field project in Kazakhstan and the work carried out in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The remoteness of the project site created some special challenges, requiring construction and development of an airfield and a road network to serve the site and facilities in the operational decades ahead.
he huge site is located approximately 260 kilometres south east of the town of Hassi Messaoud, and is relatively close to both the Tunisian and Libyan borders.