Salah Khebri, Algeria’s Minister of Energy and Mining, announced the country’s plans to increase their annual natural gas production by 13% by 2019.
He cited the efforts to overcome the decrease in production, that has lately become quite evident, as well as the drive to increase the export of energy resources, as the main reasons for such plans.
According to figures mentioned by the minister and published by Algeria Energy, investments into field exploration and natural gas production will rise to $40 bln over the next four years.
Algeria, as one of the biggest hydrocarbon producers in the North African region, has come face to face with some of the consequences of falling oil prices including a decrease in state revenues that are largely derived from the export of energy resources. Algeria’s Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal has stated earlier that this year the country’s profits from oil and gas sales are expected to decrease almost by half, from $60 bln in 2014 to $34 bln this year.
At the same time the state energy company Sonatrach maintains that despite the continuously falling oil prices they are willing to go ahead with their five-year investment plan which involves investing $90 bln in geological exploration.
According to the data provided by the Algerian Ministry for Energy and Mining, the production of hydrocarbons in the country last year saw an increase for the first time in several years, and amounted to 200 MTOE (equivalent to 4 mln barrels per day).
Algeria is the leading natural gas producer and one of the three main oil producers on the African continent.
Algeria’s proven oil reserves have been estimated at 12.2 BBOE (1.7 bln tons) and almost 6 bln barrels of shale oil (840 mln tons) as of 2014. The country’s proven gas reserves are estimated at 4.6 tcm, and a further 1.4 tcm are estimated to be as yet unexplored. There is also data to suggest an estimated reserve of 20 tcm of shale gas. Algeria’s main hydrocarbon reserves are found in the central and eastern parts of the country.
Since 2009, Gazprom International (in the operator capacity, 49%) in partnership with Sonatrach (51%) has taken part in realizing the project carried out in the licensed El Assel area in the Berkine Basin, which lies 150 km to the south-east of the town of Hassi Messaoud, the country’s oil production centre. Three new oil and gas fields have been discovered during the time of the companies’ partnership.