Algeria launches bids for 31 oil and gas fields

oil algeria-SMelindo flickrAlgeria has announced that it has launched another energy bidding round with 31 oil and gas fields on the offer for foreign companies

Ali Betata, head of ALNAFT, the agency in-charge of handling bids, said that 17 of the fields would be in the south, five in the north and the rest located in the centre of the North African country.

Youcef Yousfi, energy minister, said, “We will explain to our partners the elements and incentives included in the bidding.”

The last round held in 2011 awarded only two contracts out of the 10 offered — one to Spain’s Cepsa and the other to Algeria’s state-owned energy firm Sonatrach.

The country gets most of its output from mature fields and reportedly needs foreign investment to develop new reserves, Reuters reported.

Algeria’s new energy law, passed in 2013, includes tax and other contractual incentives for foreign companies, and benefits for unconventional energy resource investments such as shale oil and gas contracts.

Yousfi said that as a part of new developments, the country’s offshore explorations would start at the end of this year or early 2015.

Algeria has also said that it plans to build five oil refineries to double its production capacity, but has not yet given details on when construction would begin.

Oil production in the country is around 1.2mn bpd, with energy export earnings US$63.5bn in 2013, down 10 per cent from a year ago, officials said.

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