Algeria Gas Output Up After 19 Months

Algeria Gas Output  Up After 19 Months
Algeria Gas Output  Up After 19 Months

Algerian natural gas production returned to growth for the first time since militants killed 40 plant workers at the In Amenas complex last year, the energy minister said Sunday, AFP reported.

Youcef Yousfi also said Algeria's gas production would increase by 40 percent within five years "and will double within a decade."

"We are working on broadening our mineral reserve base with intensive exploration in all regions of the country," the minister told an energy conference in Oran, west Algeria.

Yousfi said he would respond to those "worried about the decline" in Algerian oil and gas, which accounts for 96 percent of its foreign trade earnings.

Output plummeted following the January 2013 attack by Islamist radicals on the isolated Sahara desert complex at In Amenas, 1,300 kilometers southeast of Algiers.

Workers from Algerian group Sonatrach, as well as British energy giant BP and Norway's Statoil, were taken hostage and 40 staff were killed by militants during a four-day siege.

Algeria's gas production was 127.2 billion cubic meters in 2013.