ALGIERS (Reuters) - Chevron Corp (CVX.N) is meeting Algeria’s state-owned Sonatrach to discuss possible partnerships, Sonatrach said on Wednesday, without giving further details.
Sonatrach has said it wants to develop partnerships with foreign oil companies to boost output and exports, but Chevron’s visit is the first by a U.S. major since mass protests broke out in February, unseating veteran president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
Algeria, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and a major gas supplier to Europe, has struggled to lift production to meet rising domestic demand, while foreign investors have often baulked at contract terms.
Sonatrach has a deal with Britain’s BP (BP.L) and Norway’s Equinor (EQNR.OL) to develop Algeria’s shale gas reserves, but industry sources said in March that talks with Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) on developing a gas field had stalled.
Algeria is expected to amend its energy law to encourage foreign investors but without ending a rule that maintains majority local ownership.
Reporting by Lamine Chikhi, editing by Angus McDowall and Louise Heavens