Algeria’s undiscovered hydrocarbons ‘amounts to six times its present stock’

gas algeria-johnny choura flickrTalking about encouraging foreign investment in oil and gas projects and amending laws, Yousfi said that they were favourable to their partners. (Image source: Johnny Choura/Flickr)Algeria has announced that its undiscovered unconventional hydrocarbons, both shale and tight, amount to six times the present level of reserves

Youcef Yousfi, Algerian minister of energy and mines, said that the North African country is home to the world’s ninth largest gas reserves. However, due to the lack of infrastructure and investment it has not reached its full potential, he added.

Algeria reportedly has more than 12bn barrels of proven oil reserves and majority of its oil exports are sent to Europe and North America, CNN’s Marketplace Middle East reported.

Yousfi said, “From the North American and US experience, we were sure that we can use new technologies to exploit our unconventional hydrocarbons. We knew that we had huge potential but we wanted to check it through different studies. And the conclusion is that the recent level of our potential of unconventional between tight and shale is more than six times our present level of reserves.”

Talking about encouraging foreign investment in oil and gas projects and amending laws, the minister said that they were in favour of international companies. “We have changed a lot of things, mainly the fiscal terms which includes incentives to the companies and special fiscal terms for unconventional exploitation. With the new amendments, we are going to see an evolution in this revolution in five to 10 years.”

The minister, however, noted that security concerns plagued the sector due to the January 2013 attack in Amenas gas facility but added that this has not deterred foreign firms from investing in the country.

“Algeria had demonstrated tough measures during the 1990s when the terrorism was very active and we were able to secure our production and our exports to Europe. Today too we are sure that we can secure the production of hydrocarbons and export them.”

When asked by CNN’s Marketplace Middle East about the future plans for the country’s energy sector, Yousfi said that with the new conventional discoveries in seven to eight years, they will be able to double Algeria’s natural gas production.

“We think that we can reach two million bpd from 1.2mn bpd now,” he added.

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