Algeria Oil, Gas Exports to Rise

Algeria Oil, Gas Exports to RiseAlgeria Oil, Gas Exports to Rise

Algeria expects a 4.1% rise in oil and gas exports this year to 195 million tons of oil equivalent, after achieving increased yields at its Hassi Rmel, Hassi Messaoud, Berkine and El Merk fields, a presidential statement said.

Algeria, a North African OPEC member and major gas supplier to Europe, has struggled in recent years to draw the foreign oil investment it needs to help increase stagnating energy production, Reuters reported. The statement said energy output peaked at 233 million tons of oil equivalent in 2007 before steadily declining to 187 million tons by 2012. But hydrocarbon output is expected to reach 224 million tons of oil equivalent by 2019.

It attributed the improvement to better recovery rates at Hassi Messaoud and Hassi Rmel, as well as acceleration in exploration at developments in Ahnet-Tidikelt, Tinhert, Timimoun and Reggane.

Algeria is struggling with a dramatic fall in energy revenue after world oil prices fell sharply this year. Energy output makes up 95% of the state budget and around 60% of the country's exports.

Amine Mazouzi, chief of state energy firm Sonatrach, said the company planned to maintain most of its planned investments, but would look at reducing costs. He said the company would focus on increasing output capacity for crude and gas and on refineries and petrochemicals.