Algeria to hike natural gas output to meet growing local, global demand

January 29, 2016 7:30 am 

ALGIERS, Jan. 29 — Algeria will increase oil and gas outputs to meet both growing local and global demand, local media said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal predicted a rising global demand for clean energy in the coming years, "including Algeria's natural gas," according to the national radio.

In 2015, Algeria already managed to increase natural gas output by 2.3 percent thanks to efforts of state run energy group of Sonatrach.

However, Sellal said Algeria has to make more efforts for an even higher gas production in order to meet growing demand of the emerging industrial economy that need both huge funds and energy.

Amid plunging oil prices in global markets and severe drop in revenues in recent months, Algeria has been forced to work on diversifying its oil-dependent economy by developing an industrial plan for the forthcoming years.

The government has decided to maintain oil investment despite drop in the country's revenues, by earmarking USD 90 billion for the period 2015-2019. Some USD 22 billion will be invested for developing natural gas fields.

The government aims to expand the reserve base and raise the production capacity of the energy giant Sonatrach. This huge investment will also help develop oil and gas fields, strengthen the hydrocarbons transportation capacity, develop petrochemicals and refine industries, and level human resources.

Sonatrach expects to increase hydrocarbon outputs from the beginning of 2018 to reach 225 million ton of oil equivalent, compared to 195 million in 2013.

Oil and gas reserves in Algeria increased by five percent from 4.2 billion tons in 2010 to 4.4 billion tons in 2014, according to official figures.

A recent report of the World Bank ranked Algeria at the ninth place globally in the field of natural gas production in 2014, producing 83 billion cubic meters annually.

As for crude oil, the report ranked Algeria 18th worldwide in 2014 with 1.52 million barrels per day, compared to 1.48 million barrels per day in 2013. Algeria's share in OPEC is around 1.2 million barrels per day. (PNA/Xinhua)



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