Algeria’s Sonatrch ups oil and gas investments to USD80b

07 Jun 2012

(MENAFN) Sonatrach, Algeria’s state-owned energy company said it will boost investment in the hydrocarbon sector to USD80 billion over the next five years as the North African country seeks to expand its gas resource base and boost its refining and petrochemical capacity, Reuters reported.

The company said that the new investment is USD12 billion more than previously announced by the Opec member.

CEO Abdelhamid Zerguine said some of the $80 billion investment would be used to build new refineries.

Despite Algeria being a major oil producer and an important natural gas supplier to Europe, it needs to import large quantities of refined fuel products such as gasoline and gasoil because its refining capacity does not meet with the domestic demand growth. Sonatrach purchased around 1.3 million tonnes of fuel last year.

Zerguine said that Algeria has huge shale gas reserves. A preliminary study shows that Algeria has an estimated 600 trillion cubic ft of recoverable shale gas reserves, he added.

Algeria currently produces 1.2 million barrels of crude a day, according to Zerguine said.

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