Algeria’s Sonatrach and Italy’s Eni are strengthening ties to bolster investment in Algeria’s energy sector, including in offshore and solar operations, officials from both companies said March 18.

Eni, the biggest foreign investor in oil and gas in Algeria, held a board meeting at the Bir Rebaa North (BRN) oil field in southeast Algeria on March 17, which it said was a way of showing its commitment to its partnership with Sonatrach.

“This is a symbolic Eni meeting to show how important Algeria is to us,” Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said during the visit to BRN.

“We have invested 11 billion euros [US$11.8 billion] in Algeria since 2010, it represents 30% of our investment abroad,” Descalzi said.

(US$1 = 0.9310 euros)