Algeria aims to drill first offshore oilwell by end of 2015

offshore algeriaSonatrach will open a new round of bidding for investment in Q3 2015. (Image source: Deepwater Horizon Response/Flickr)Algeria’s state-owned energy firm Sonatrach will drill its first offshore oilwell by the end of 2015, with annual refining output hitting 87.7mn cu/m at the end of last year, energy minister Youcef Yousfi has announced

The refining output was 70.7mn cu/m when the country first launched improvement work at its main refineries in 2012.

“With that work over, output rose by 17mn cu/m in 2014,” Yousfi added.

He said that five new refineries would also be built to double capacity by 2020.
Algeria exports several refined oil products but also imports petrol and diesel due to growing domestic demand.

“We are still developing our capacity to meet citizens’ needs,” Yousfi said.
Zoubida Benmoufouk, head of refining department at state energy firm Sonatrach, revealed that both diesel and petrol output would double to 25.4mn cu/m and 22.6mn cu/m respectively in 2018.

According to press reports, Algeria has been seeking to boost energy output to improve earnings from exports on which the government heavily relies to implement social programmes and fund economic development plans.

“We have finished seismic studies,” the energy minister noted, adding that new onshore oil and gas fields would also start production in the next few years.
Sonatrach revealed that it would open a new round of bidding for investment in Q3 2015. In the last round in September 2014, just four out of 31 blocks on offer were awarded.

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