Italian major Eni has signed a new exploration and production contract in Algeria to fast-track the $1.4 billion development of a 135 million-barrel discovery to first oil in 2022.

At the same time, the Milan-based player has finalised a memorandum of understanding with Algeria's state-owned Sonatrach for cooperation on energy transition initiatives.

The new E&P contract and MoU were signed by Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi and Toufik Hakkar, chief executive of state-owned Sonatrach, in the presence of Algeria’s Minister of Energy & Mines Mohamed Arkab.