By 2020, Algeria’s government plans to increase oil and gas production volume to 240 million tonnes of oil equivalent, the state news agency Algerian Press Service (APS) reports citing Salah Khebri, Algeria's Minister of Energy and Mines.
According to the Minister’s statement provided by the agency, the Algerian government plans to use $73 billion to implement these plans over the next five years.
Mr. Khebri noted that since 2004, hydrocarbon production in Algeria grew with each year, reaching a peak of 233 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2007. Starting from 2008, the figure reached record lows between 185 and 190 million tonnes of oil equivalent. In 2015, the total hydrocarbon production volume amounted to approximately 195 million tonnes of oil equivalent.
This year, according to the Energy Minister, the country plans to produce 197 million tonnes of oil equivalent of energy resources, whereas the projected figure for 2017 is at 210 million tonnes, for 2018 – at 215 million tonnes, and for 2019 – at 225 million tonnes. In 2020, Algeria is expected to produce a record 240 million tonnes of oil equivalent.
On April 16, on the sidelines of the meeting of the management of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington, Abderrahmane Benkhalfa, Algeria's Minister of Finance, said that Sonatrach, the State Oil and Gas Corporation, is planning to attract concessional foreign financing to carry out exploration projects. Mr. Benkhalfa noted that the measure would not have to do with the public debt but with targeted contributions to particular projects, which are to be carried out with foreign participation and have potential profit.
According to the Minister, there is a plan to establish a joint venture that would manage the funds and subsequently restitute them. Mr. Benkhalfa also added that the plan has been provisionally approved by the IMF management.
Algeria is a leading natural gas producer and one of the top three oil producers in Africa.
As of 2014, the country’s proved oil reserves were estimated at 12.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent (1.7 billion tonnes) and almost 6 billion barrels (840 million tonnes) of technically recoverable shale oil. Algeria’s proved natural gas reserves are estimated at approximately 4.6 trillion cubic meters, and another 1.4 trillion cubic meters are considered as undiscovered. It is also known that there are over 20 trillion cubic meters of recoverable shale gas resources. Algeria’s main hydrocarbon reserves are concentrated in the central and eastern regions of the country.
Since 2009, Gazprom International (as the operator, with a 49% share) in cooperation with Sonatrach (with a 51% share) has been carrying out a project at the El Assel licence block of the Berkine oil and gas basin, located 150 km southeast of Hassi Messaoud, the oil capital of Algeria. Over the period of joint operation, the partners have discovered four oil and gas fields in the area.
Photo: Algeria Press Service