Maersk Oil entered Algeria in 1990 through a joint venture that includes Sonatrach. It is a partner in operations spanning two blocks, which are situated in the Sahara Desert some 700-1,000 kilometres south of the Mediterranean. Maersk Oil holds an interest between 4.589% and 12.25%.

Maersk Oil is a partner in a joint-operating association called Groupement Berkine, which is currently producing from three mega projects in the Sahara Desert – Ourhoud, HBNS, and El Merk. In 2015, these three facilities surpassed 2 billion barrels of gross cumulative oil production.


2013: First oil achieved from El Merk.

2009: Development of the El Merk project was sanctioned. The final stages of development and commissioning work are ongoing.

2002: Oil production began from the Ourhoud field. The field has a separate CPF with a capacity of about 250,000 barrels of oil per day.

2002: The central production facility (CPF), located at the HBNS field, was expanded to 285,000 barrels of oil per day to accommodate additional production from the HBNS, HBN and the Block 404 satellite fields.

1998: The HBNS field was brought on production with an initial production capacity of 60,000 barrels of oil per day.


1998: Development drilling began.

1994: Discovery of the Ourhoud field, one of the largest oil fields in Algeria, located in the south-eastern corner of Block 404.

1990: Exploration activities began. Over 30 exploration wells have been drilled, resulting in 16 field discoveries. The initial discoveries were the El Merk (EMK) and El Merk East (EME) fields in Block 208. These were followed by the discovery of three major oil fields in Block 404: Hassi Berkine (HBN), Hassi Berkine South (HBNS) and Ourhoud. Later, nine satellite fields were discovered in Block 404.


Export of the produced oil takes place through a 30” pipeline linking with Algeria’s export infrastructure to the north and produced condensate and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will be exported through two 16” pipelines to Gassi Touil to the west.