The official signing of a deal by the American Occidental Petroleum Company (OXY) to buy Anadarko Company for $38 billion will force the Algerian government to accelerate the adoption of the new hydrocarbons law so that it prepares the appropriate legal ground to deal with this file given the allocation of space for the new project to handle this type of files.
In this context, the draft hydrocarbons law in this section shows in article 83, a copy of which is held by Echorouk, that “without prejudice to the provisions of Chapter 11 of this law, and in case of a change in control (ownership) of a legal party that is constituted by the Contracting Parties in Hydrocarbons Project, the Energy Minister is allowed, within 90 days from the date on which the Hydrocarbons Resources Agency (ALNAFT) appraised information and documents relating to the change of ownership, to decide that the transaction is incompatible while maintaining the relevant party’s contribution to the hydrocarbons’ contract.
The same document stated in the same article (83) that in this case, the rights and obligations (assets) of the party concerned shall be transferred to the National Hydrocarbons Company (Sonatrach) or to other contracting parties in the same project with fair compensation.
Article 84 of the law added that any transfer of assets and property that violates the provisions of the hydrocarbons law is null and void.
In the part that is related to the right of pre-emption by the Algerian State, the new draft hydrocarbons law states that the right of pre-emption is granted to the national institution (Sonatrach), which can exercise it within a period that does not exceed sixty (60) days from the date of notification of the agency “ALNAFT” with the transfer request. Preemption does not apply if the transfer to has been made to a subsidiary of Sonatrach.
But other questions arise if the deal between the French “Total” and the American “Oxy” is finalized and the assets of Anadarko on the African continent, including Algeria, of course, are transferred to the benefit of the French company, before the activation of the new hydrocarbons law, and how the government will deal with these data given that the transfer of the assets was conducted under the current hydrocarbons law and not the new one?
American Anadarko shareholders agreed on August 8 to sell the company to its American rival Occidental Petroleum, also known as OXY, for $ 38 billion.
Previously, the American company “Oxy” reached an agreement with the French Total to sell the assets of Anadarko in the African continent for the French company for $ 8.8 billion, which means that the fields and projects that belonged to “Anadarko” in Algeria and several African countries such as Mozambique and Ghana will become Total’s ownership, knowing that Anadarko is currently the largest foreign oil producer in Algeria with 230,000 barrels per day, which means that the completion of the deal will make it control a quarter of Algeria’s crude oil production per day.