In 2009, the Laboratories Division, a structure resulting from the redeployment of the «Research and Development Centre » (CRD), was accredited to ISO 17025, a recognized standard, adding to the certifications already secured by the former CRD. This redeployment and this newly acquired certification, highlight the completion of the continuous improvement process of the laboratory activities and the quality of services management.
In order to reinforce its position and further develop, Sonatrach, through the Laboratories Division (former CRD « Research and Development Centre »), established its own state-of-the-art analytical laboratories and high-level human resources. It is a major asset for the sustainability and development of the Group. Affiliated to the Upstream Activity, this structure resulting from the redeployment of the CRD in 2009, had also led to the creation of the «Technology and Innovation » Division and since then was dedicated to study services, testing and expertise work in the oil Upstream.
It is also the necessary scientific and technical tool for exploration, exploitation and development of hydrocarbons.
Concentrating on the work of laboratory and studies services, the Laboratories Division will then be able to deploy more consistently its strategic approach aiming at maintaining and strengthening its position in its focus area. With this in mind, the laboratories of Boumerdes and Hassi Messaoud were consolidated into a single unit at the Upstream Activity. « This redeployment allows both meeting rapidly operational concerns, by carrying out routine analyses through our Hassi Messaoud structures, and also contributes to solving more complex problems encountered during the exploration and exploitation of deposits, through extensive analysis and studies in our Boumerdes structures ». This structure will soon have a central drill core library in Hassi Messaoud, which will house over one million meters of archived drill cores (one of the largest in the world).
A high-level scientific staff and state-of-the-art equipment
In order to carry out its missions, the Division has 40 laboratories, 30 of which in Boumerdes and the rest in Hassi Messaoud, a high-level scientific staff and state-of-the-art equipment. 510 employees (including 30% of women), are distributed among analysis laboratories, with skills ranging from geological and chemical analysis to multidisciplinary studies. These laboratories provide the broadest range of their services to Sonatrach’s operational structures as well as those operated in partnership. However, they may be required on by various other customers (public institutions or private companies, among others).
Further, the laboratories are organized around three (03) Technical Directions working closely together: Geology, Deposits and Hydrocarbons Processing.
Generally, one of the main missions of the Laboratories Division is to get actively involved in the hydrocarbons exploration phase alongside explorers to perform the following tasks and missions: dating geological layers requiring fieldwork and testing, collection and analysis of sedimentological and structural data, in order to characterize and evaluate the extension of potential reservoirs as well as geochemical analyses for the evaluation of the basins petroleum potential.
In addition to these missions, the Division has other laboratories to optimize output from the producing fields. It thus provides support on several issues including: reservoir characterization, thermodynamic studies, petroleum products characterization, clogging studies, stimulation and enhanced recovery studies «EOR», water compatibility studies, environmental and corrosion studies. At another level, the Sonatrach Group holds the Division responsible for ensuring the quality control of products used by the different Group’s operators.
Among its missions, including those of the Deposits Direction, we can mention the following: carry out sampling missions, analyses, studies and expert reports on fluid and porous environment, characterize the petrophysical and geo-mechanical properties of rocks, determine the thermodynamic parameters of fluids, control the quality of crudes and derivatives, establish a data base concerning rocks and fluids of hydrocarbon reservoirs, and finally, develop and/or propose various correlations and phenomenological models specific to deposits. The workforce of this laboratory operates in three core businesses.