Exxon Mobil says in talks with Algeria to explore oil and gas

By Lamine Chikhi and Sabrina Valle

ALGIERS/HOUSTON (Reuters) -U.S. oil producer Exxon Mobil confirmed on Wednesday that it is in talks with Algeria’s national state-owned oil company Sonatrach about oil and gas exploration opportunities in the North African country.

Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab said on Tuesday that a deal is expected to be reached in the next few days. An Exxon spokesperson said the company does not comment on details of commercial strategy.

Algeria is pushing hard to boost its oil and gas output, and it is expecting to attract Exxon and other American companies to invest in its energy sector, as Occidental Petroleum has already done, sources said.

Algeria’s oil production is at around 1 million barrels per day, and its gas at 106 billion cubic meters per year, according to figures released by Sonatrach.

(Reporting by Lamine ChikhiEditing by David Goodman, David Gregorio and Marguerita Choy)