Rachid Hachichi, Chairman & CEO of Sonatrach, on company expansion plans and developing the Algerian gas industry by mobilising reserves and increasing drilling
Has the company seen major changes in its operations since the changes in senior management?
To achieve the highest standards in the industry, Sonatrach is engaged in a transformation process to extract the full potential of its human and natural resources.
With clear vision and ambitions, we are activating three levers: a redesign of the organisation and its processes; the improvement of performance within our activities; and finally, the development and implementation of a strategic action plan, which has enabled us to open up new value-creating themes such as petrochemical, off shore or renewable energies.
In this context, we are now working on some 30 initiatives to successfully transform the company and create long-term value for our sole shareholder, the state. To ensure rigorous monitoring, we deploy a performance management system that allows us to define the strategy in precise and detailed quantified objectives by activity, and to monitor performance in a regular and structured manner.
What do you see as the greatest areas of opportunity for Sonatrach to expand its activities and grow its revenue?
In addition to ensuring the total availability of production facilities in compliance with HSE rules, we are currently working to develop all the energy resources at our disposal, whether fossil or renewable. This is how we are implementing a new exploration strategy in which Frontier Exploration is the major contributor to the opening of new oil provinces.
Our efforts are also focused on better mobilising our reserves and increasing our drilling performance. The downstream value chain is not forgotten.
A redeployment of gas exports to value-added opportunities and markets with high growth potential should enable us to increase our export revenues. The establishment of a petrochemical industry is also on the agenda for Algeria and abroad. Finally, we aim to optimise our refining tool.
Sonatrach is also a company looking towards the future. Our strategy extended the scope of intervention to new markets and the exploitation of new resources such as off shore; 3D seismic work has already been carried out in the eastern part of the country and is currently being interpreted, along with solar energy, with a target of 2.3 GW and non-conventional energy, whose potential is under assessment.
To support objective of increasing exports, we are working on several initiatives such as developing energy trading, increasing the capacity of our shipping infrastructure and the Medgaz gas pipeline to Spain as well as building a new LNG jetty and maritime and port infrastructure in Skikda.
And what are the greatest challenges?
We must respond to challenges as varied as the pressure on demand and prices, the depletion of resources and, therefore, the need to always find new fields, the recovery of flared natural gas quantities, cost control, the complexity of projects and the constant search for talent to develop our activities.
As you can see, the task is important, but our ambition is also great. Our long-term goal is to improve the annual volumes of our discoveries. Doubling drilling productivity and optimising the performance of producing wells is another objective.
We are also working on the implementation of a better organisation of our major projects within a dedicated structure that should enable us to develop our projects more quickly and control our investment budgets.
Also, the value of a company lies in the quality of its human resources and that is why our main objective is to provide Sonatrach with a new HR policy that will redesign the value proposition to employees.
How has digital technology impacted on its ways of working?
The increasing use of digital solutions will enable Sonatrach to support cost pressure, better understanding of the growing complexity of operations, reduce the loss of experience due to retirements and meet higher standards in terms of HSE.
Sonatrach is currently deploying a modern IT infrastructure with the implementation of digital applications and its ERP software package (SAP) which will ultimately enable it to better manage the company in real time through an integrated and optimised vision of the activity.
Is the company active in recruiting young people into the industry?
The Sonetrach Group will have 20,000 employees. It is at the forefront in recruiting, promoting and developing young talents who have grown up in an era where technology is within their reach.