ALGERIA TO STEP UP OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION DESPITE PRICE DECLINE

ALGIERS, -- Algeria is determined to maintain and implement its development strategy for oil and gas exploration and production despite the fall in crude oil prices, says Energy Minister Salah Khebri.

Addressing the 1st Algeria-EU Forum on Energy here Tuesday, he said the combination between forecasts of increase of national energy consumption increase and export needs required Algeria to pursue exploration efforts to extend its resources base and the transformation of energy mix and energy consumption modes.

The increase in exploration activities and oilfield development through the use of many recovery technologies was scheduled for the mid-term, he told the forum which was also attended by the European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Canete, as well as representatives of 700 companies, including 200 European ones.

Algeria's energy strategy refocusing had been implemented as from late 2015, the Energy Minister affirmed.

Recalling that Algeria had developed its hydrocarbon export capacities to ensure continuous supply for its customers while maintaining its "reliable supplier status, even in the most difficult circumstances", Khebri stated that the country's gas export capacities had increased to nearly 90 billion cubic metre per year, including 50 cubic metres a year through three gas pipelines devoted to Europe whereas the remaining quantity consisted of LNG.

"Relations between Algeria and the EU are strong, and energy is at the forefront of these ties. Today's meeting aims at further strengthening these relations," he affirmed.

As for hydrocarbons production, it reached 200 million TON in 2015 and should progressively increase again in 2016 to hit 241 million TON in 2020.

In order to implement this strategy and maintain its reliable strategic partner position, Algeria intends to engage in three major investments in hydrocarbons in the upcoming years, he stated.

The expected investments between 2016 and 2020 would exceed 73 billion US dollars, including half to be devoted to exploration-production activities, according to him.

"Major" investments in hydrocarbons, whose collected fund exceeded USD 100 million between 2000 and 2015, have been launched by Sonatrach and its partners. "These data reflect the country's willingness to maintain and fulfil its commitments relating to the development of the exploration-production branch despite the fall in prices," Khebri affirmed.

Source: Name News Network