Algeria and ExxonMobil, a U.S. energy giant, signed an agreement to study the hydrocarbon potential in the North African nation’s Sahara desert, the official APS news agency reported on Monday.
According to Algeria’s National Agency for the Evaluation of Hydrocarbon Resources (ALNAFT), ExxonMobil showed interest in the Algerian hydrocarbon mining sector, which has significant hydrocarbon resources.
The signing of the agreement, part of ALNAFT’s mission to promote and develop the hydrocarbon mining, makes ExxonMobil the fourth multinational company to join the agency in this study, after Italy’s ENI, France’s Total and Norway’s Equinor.
ALNAFT considers this commitment as “the first step of ExxonMobil in Algeria for the prospection of opportunity in hydrocarbon research and exploitation.”
According to an earlier statement by the government on Jan. 28, 2019, Algeria’s reserves of unconventional energy make it the third in the world in shale gas and seventh in shale oil.