Menzel Ledjmet East (MLE) is an onshore gas and condensate field located in the Berkine Basin in south-eastern Algeria. Producing since January 2013, the MLE gas field and the processing facilitates were developed through a joint venture partnership between the Italian oil and gas company Eni (75%) and Algeria’s national state-owned oil company Sonatrach (25%).

The MLE oil and wet gas field development project was originally undertaken by Sonatrach and First Calgary Petroleums (FCP). An agreement for jointly developing the project was signed between both the parties in 2003. The MLE field was appraised and six additional oil and gas discoveries grouped under the Central Area Fields Complex (CAFC) area between 2004 and 2006.

The Agency Nationale pour la Valorisation des Ressources en Hydrocarbures Algeria (ALNAFT) approved the MLE field development plan in February 2007, while Eni acquired the project from FCP in September 2008.

The Menzel Ledjmet East (MLE) facility is capable of producing up to 318 million cubic feet (Mcf) of gas, 15,000 barrels of oil and condensate, and 12,000 barrels of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) a day.

Eni and Sonatrach announced the completion of a pipeline connecting the Bir Rebaa Nord (BRN) field being developed in the North Berkine Basin with the MLE gas treatment facility in March 2020.

MLE gas field location

The Menzel Ledgmet East (MLE) onshore gas field is located in block 405b of the Berkine Basin, approximately 1,000km Southeast of Algiers and approximately 300km south-east of Hassi Messaoud in the Ouargla province of Algeria.

Menzel Ledjmet East gas field details

The Menzel Ledgmet East (MLE) gas field development comprises 13 wells, 10 re-entry new wells, seven multiphase pumping systems, a gas gathering system and a gas plant capable of treating 350Mcf of gas a day along with a dehydration unit, acid gas removal, and sulphur recovery units

The gas, condensate and LPG produced by the field are sent through separate dry gas and liquid pipelines connecting a tie-in point on the national pipeline grid approximately 140km west of the block 405b.

Menzel Ledjmet East-Bir Rebaa North gas pipeline

Menzel Ledjmet East gas plant is connected to the Bir Rebaa North (BRN) gas field located in block 403 in the Berkine North Basin through a 185km-long gas pipeline. Once fully developed, the BRN field is expected to produce 6.5 million cubic meters (Mcm) of gas and 10,000 barrels of associated liquids a day.

The BRN-MLE gas pipeline will also allow for the export of the associated gas from the Bir Rebaa South West (BRSW) field as well as other potential gas field developments in the Berkine North Basin. The 16in-diameter BRN-MLE gas pipeline is capable of transporting 7Mcm of gas a day.

Construction of the 185km gas pipeline was started in July 2018 and completed in March 2020.

Contractors involved with the Menzel Ledjmet East gas field development

Bonatti is responsible for the operation and maintenance, and well production services for the MLE gas project.

Saipem was awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) for the gas gathering and treatment facilities as well as the pipelines for the MEL project in March 2009.

United Engineering was subcontracted by Saipem for the mechanical erection, insulation, electrical, and instrumentation works for the MEL gas treatment plant while Corinth Pipeworks was subcontracted for the gas pipelines for the project.

Safco Engineering was awarded an EPC contract for fire and gas detection systems for the MLE field by Saipem in 2010.

ABB was contracted for the delivery of utilities, storage, and export facilities for the central processing plant at Menzel Ledjmet East.

Petrofac was contracted for concept and cost estimating studies of the MLE field by First Calgary Petroleum in 2006.