As referred to the records of the Ministers Council meeting of the Arab Republic, which convened on 6 October under the chairmanship of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the National News Agency, Algerian Press Service (APS), reports that total production of oil and gas in Algeria is slated to reach 195 million tons of crude oil equivalent by the end of the year.
At the meeting, Salah Khebri, Algeria's Minister of Energy and Mines said that by the end of 2015, due to stepped up production of hydrocarbons in the regions of Hassi Rmel, Hassi Messaoud, Berkine and El Merk, Algeria could see a 4.1% increase in oil and gas exports.
Salah Khebri said that total production volumes could rise to 224 million tons of oil equivalent by 2019 under a programme to increase the production of hydrocarbons. According to previously disseminated information, Algeria's oil production rose over the past year for the first time in several years, and totalled about 200 million tons of oil equivalent (4 million barrels/day).
At the meeting, the Council of Ministers considered and approved a decree of the President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria on the exploration and development of hydrocarbon deposits. In July, the Algerian National Agency for the Valorisation of Hydrocarbon Resources ALNAFT and the State Oil and Gas Corporation Sonatrach signed the corresponding agreements on exploration and development at 12 sites located in Ouargla, Tamanrasset, Adrar, El Bayadh, Bechar and Illizi provinces (wilayahs).
Algeria is one of the largest oil and gas producers in North Africa, but, due to falling oil prices, has been grappling with a sharp decline in public revenues provided predominantly by energy exports.
As noted earlier by Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, this year, proceeds from the sale of oil and gas are expected to fall to about $34 billion, a 50% drop. In 2014, this figure totalled around $60 billion.
Algeria is a leading natural gas producer and one of the top three oil and gas producing countries on the African continent.
Proven oil reserves in Algeria as of 2014 were estimated at 12.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent (1.7 billion tons) and almost 6 billion barrels (840 million tons) of technically recoverable shale oil. Proven natural gas reserves in the country are estimated at 4.6 trillion cubic meters. Another 1.4 trillion cubic meters are categorized as undiscovered. Additional evidence suggests that there is more than 20 trillion cubic meters of shale gas resources. The main hydrocarbon reserves are concentrated in the central and eastern parts of the country.
Beginning in 2009, Gazprom International (the operator, 49%) in alliance with Sonatrach (51%) has been implementing a project in the El Assel license area located in the Berkine Basin, 150 km south-east of the oil capital of the country – the city of Hassi Messaoud. The partners have discovered three gas and oil fields over the course of their collaboration.