The Minister of Energy and Mines, Mohamed Arkab, announced that many new gas fields have recently entered production in Algeria, waiting for other fields to enter production before the end of the year, which contributes to raising the annual gas production by 4 billion cubic meters compared to last year, including increasing capacity. Exporting Algerian gas to Europe.
In an interview with the Al-Sharq news website, the minister stated that “several fields entered production during the current year, in addition to the expected operation of other fields before the end of 2023,” noting that “production will increase by the end of 2023 by about 4 billion cubic metres.”
He added that operating these fields “will allow us to enhance our production capabilities to export more gas to Europe on the one hand, and on the other hand to work more and more to rationalize the use of energy, especially natural gas.”
He continued, “Algeria intends to increase its gas exports to Europe during the winter,” pointing to the challenges posed by the current changes in the global energy scene.
Algeria produced 102 billion cubic meters of gas in 2022, of which it exported about 50 billion cubic meters, while the remaining amount was directed to internal consumption.
Mr. Arkab expected “the primary production of hydrocarbons in Algeria to increase by 2 percent annually during the period from 2023 to 2027, to reach about 209 million tons of oil equivalent.”
He continued that Algeria is working to increase primary production to maintain its shares in foreign markets, by using new technologies that contribute to better investment of resources.
The minister called on European companies to “increase investment in technology for extracting and manufacturing natural gas, and to share risks and costs with Algeria,” pointing out “to benefit from the expertise and knowledge of international companies.”
Regarding investment, he stated that Sonatrach will invest $42 billion in the period from 2023 to 2027, including “more than $14 billion to develop gas projects, $3.5 billion to complete petrochemical projects, and nearly half a billion dollars to complete projects related to environmental protection,” such as Recovering burned gases, completing electricity generation stations via solar energy, and developing hydrogen projects.
Mr. Arkab pointed out that 77 percent of Sonatrach’s total investment was allocated to “developing extraction activity as a priority, with the aim of expanding the reserve base, increasing primary fuel production to meet local demand in the long term, and ensuring our commitments in the field of export.”
On the other hand, with regard to the seventh summit of heads of state and government of the “Gas Exporting Countries Forum”, scheduled to be hosted by Algeria at the end of February 2024, the minister said that it will discuss the sustainable development of the gas industry, improve the infrastructure for transporting and exporting gas, and enhance trade cooperation between member states, Considering it “an appropriate opportunity to discuss the global gas market, the prospects for its development in the short, medium and long term, and to present proposals to ensure the ability of member states to plan and manage gas resources independently.”
Among the objectives of the summit, he added, is “supporting the interests of member states in investing their natural gas resources and achieving sustainable, effective and environmentally friendly development.” The forum also seeks to “build a mechanism for dialogue between gas producers and consumers, to ensure the security and stability of supply and demand in global gas markets.”
In response to a question about the plans of OPEC and the OPEC+ alliance to address the shortage in oil supply during the last quarter of the current year, the minister pointed out that the countries participating in the two alliances “are still adhering to their agreement, as they continue to evaluate market conditions and address its challenges.” And take the necessary measures in a timely manner as needed, with the aim of ensuring market stability for the benefit of both producers and consumers as well as the global economy.”
Mr. Arkab continued, saying: “With regard to market data of supply and demand for oil, a state of uncertainty still prevails in the market, especially with the high inflation rates and their negative effects on the global economy, in light of the growing concerns about the possibility of raising interest rates by the US Federal Reserve.” And the rise in the price of the dollar.
The minister stressed that every plan by “OPEC” and “OPEC+” to address market stability comes after evaluating supply and demand data, economic prospects, as well as the levels of global stocks of oil and its products and the level of their prices.
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