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Case study: Repsol Exploration Algeria S.A.

Background

Undertake a comprehensive environmental impact assessment to meet regulatory requirements and protect archaeological areas of significance across four exploratory concessions in Algeria for Repsol Exploration Algeria S.A.

Our Approach

Repsol Exploration Algeria S.A. is an international integrated oil and gas company headquartered in Spain. During 2005 it split its Algerian activities into two independent administrative arms.

One of these arms became known as its Algeria Business Unit. With a  presence in the country dating back to the 70s the Algeria Business Unit oversees all Algerian operations and began exploratory operations at four remote exploration blocks (Berkine, Gassi Chergui, M’ Sari-Akabli and Reggane North) in 2003.

The second arm became part of Repsol Exploration Algeria S.A. consortium with Gas Natural and Sonatrach Petroleum Corporation. This consortium was formed to develop an integrated oil and gas project at the Gassi Touil Concession. The consortium began exploratory drilling work in 2005.

In 2007 Repsol Exploration Algeria S.A. contracted ERM to undertake Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for the four exploratory concessions operated by the Algeria Business Unit and some additional EIAs for the Gassi Touil Project. Initially, focus was concentrated on gathering project data from Repsol Exploration Algeria S.A engineers and analyzing environmental and legislative data for the area. Once onsite, ERM worked with two local Algerian subcontractors, one an expert in ecology and the other in archaeology, to investigate the area and surrounding environment where drilling was proposed and it’s surrounding environment.

 
ERM identified some key archaeological issues that Repsol Exploration Algeria S.A.  had not been aware of. Taking into consideration strict Algerian laws which apply to archaeological areas of significance, we advised Repsol Exploration Algeria S.A. to make certain modifications to their final plans for exploratory drilling.

Benefits and Value

These modifications proved invaluable. Coupled with ERM’s diligent management of the EIA submission process, the Algerian environmental authorities granted Repsol Exploration Algeria S.A. permits to begin exploratory drilling in a matter of months.

The benefits of ERM’s work were threefold: protecting the archeological integrity of the site, meeting local regulations and ensuring Repsol Exploration Algeria S.A. avoided costly project delays.

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