Sonatrach CEO replaced amidst Algerian government upheaval

It is unclear if this will affect current and planned agreements with major oil companies

Sonatrach, Algeria, Eni, Claudio descalzi, Abdelmoumen ould kaddour, Rachid hachichi

Interim President of Algeria Abdelkader Bensalah has removed Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour from his position as the CEO of Sonatrach, the Algerian national oil company, according to state TV. He has been replaced by Sonatrach's production and exploration head, Rachid Hachichi.

It is unclear how this could affect the firm's deals in progress-- Kaddour aggressively pursued collaboration efforts with some of the world's largest energy firms. It signed agreements with Eni and Total for offshore exploration, and in October 2018 agreed with Total to develop Erg Issouane gas field.

Kaddour also signed an agreement with BP and Equinor for the exploration and development of unconventional resources in the gas-rich nation. He was also reportedly in talks with 14 international firms to set up a trading joint venture.

In a positive sign for the company, Italian energy firm Eni today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sonatrach about the renewal of its gas supply and transporation agreement through the pipeline crossing the Mediterannean Sea.

Since he took the reins of the company in March 2017, placed in his role by former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the company saw an increase in partnership agreements following a period of instability at the company.

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