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Natural Gas

Algerian oil, gas production up 4.4% in 2014 to 4 million boe/d

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Algeria's Sonatrach makes case for 'urgent' reform to hydrocarbon sector

Algerian oil, gas production up 4.4% in 2014 to 4 million boe/d

Algiers — Algeria's oil and gas production rose 4.4% in 2014 to 200 million mt of oil equivalent (4 million boe/d), according to energy ministry data Thursday.

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The rise in production put an end to a trend of falling output over the past few years, the ministry said.

Crude and condensate production rose 4.8% to 61 million mt, while gas output increased 3% to 131 Bcm. LPG output was up 14% to 8 million mt.

Total oil and gas exports last year were 100 million mtoe -- or 50% of the production -- worth $58.5 billion.


The value of exports was down 8% year on year because of the fall in the oil price in the second half.

PRODUCTION FORECASTS

Algeria has said it wants to increase production further this year, with exports also set to rise. The most recent forecast was for exports to grow to 127 million mtoe in 2015.

By 2019, Algeria hopes to produce 225 million mtoe, and export 144 million mtoe.

Of that production, 141 million mtoe would be gas and 84 million mtoe oil.

Its general goals are to double gas production and exports and increase oil production by 50% in coming decades.

From 2015-19, Algeria plans to invest $90 billion in its oil and gas sector, including $64 billion in the upstream sector.

The CEO of state-owned Sonatrach, Said Sahnoun, said last month it would not reduce these investments despite the lower oil price.

EXPLORATION ACTIVITY

It is Algeria's ambition to continue to grow production through increased exploration activity.

However, the country has conceded that the results of its latest bid round, its fourth, could have been better. Only four blocks were awarded out of 31 on offer.

Algeria was expected to launch a fifth bid round in coming months, which was expected to include some of the blocks not awarded in the previous round.

Sonatrach alone has made the majority of recent discoveries.

In 2013-14, the country made 7 billion boe worth of discoveries. Last year, 30 finds were made -- 29 by Sonatrach and one by international partners. In 2013, there were 32 finds.

Algeria has also targeted the development of unconventional oil and gas, whose potential is vast.

According to estimates, Algeria has more than 700 Tcf in recoverable shale gas reserves and around 248 billion barrels of shale oil resources.

The country has started a pilot shale gas development project in the south at In Salah, where there have been protests by the local population concerned over the possible environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing.

--Lies Sahar, newsdesk@platts.com
--Stuart Elliott, stuart.elliott@platts.com
--Edited by Dan Lalor, daniel.lalor@platts.com