Algeria hopes to conclude negotiations with Chevron Corp. this year as the U.S. firm seeks to explore for energy in the North African country.
The talks come as European and U.S. companies step up efforts to extract oil and gas from the region and help make up for sanctions-related supply losses from Russia.
“We are in discussions on the choice of the perimeters,” Toufik Hakkar, CEO of state energy firm Sonatrach, said to Bloomberg. “The contractual aspects remain. Our objective is to conclude a contract during this year.”
Algeria, an OPEC member, has some of Africa’s biggest oil and gas reserves and already exports significant volumes to Europe. However, years of mismanagement and a lack of investment have hindered efforts to pump more.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to a renewed push by Western energy companies. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni visited Algiers last month along with the CEO of Eni SpA, which is looking to boost gas purchases from the country.
The Wall Street Journal first reported Chevron’s talks with Algeria.
They come as the Biden administration, keen to ensure oil and gas prices don’t rise on global markets, encourages U.S. firms to boost exploration.