ALGIERS, July 11 Algeria has started talks with
Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil on shale gas
exploration in the North African country, the head of state
energy firm Sonatrach said on Wednesday.
Italy's Eni last year signed an agreement with
Sonatrach to help carry out shale gas exploration.
"We are in talks with Shell and Exxon," Sonatrach Chief
Executive Abdelhamid Zerguine told a news conference.
Sonatrach officials previously said several foreign
companies were willing to invest in Algeria's shale gas sector.
Algeria wants to develop technology-intensive shale gas and
offshore production to help ensure security of supply in the
long run, and it currently favours allowing foreign oil majors
to help achieve those goals.