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Italy’s Eni reviews renewables for Algeria

Italian energy company Eni, the second-largest producer in Algeria, said it was reviewing renewable energy options in the country. Photo by photostock77/Shutterstock ALGIERS, Algeria, Nov. 4 (UPI) — Italian energy company Eni said its representatives met with Algerian officials to discuss an energy mix that includes plans for a renewable energy industry. Claudio Descalzi, the chief executive officer at Eni, joined executives from state-owned energy company Sontrach, Algerian Energy Minister Salah Khebri and Prime Minister Abdelmallek Sellel to outline future strategies in the country . "Among other things, they discussed on the energy mix issue and Eni offered its willingness to consider projects in partnership for the development of renewable energy," the Italian company said in a statement. Algeria has the 10th largest natural gas deposits in the world and is the third-largest supplier to Europe. Its exports have been in decline, however, because of lagging foreign investments. The […]

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Algeria Backs Venezuela on OPEC, Non-OPEC Summit to Boost Prices

Algeria supports Venezuela’s call for a summit among heads of state from OPEC and other oil-exporting nations in a bid to lift crude prices, Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said. ”Algeria has always been a pioneer when it comes to strengthening solidarity between producing countries,” Lamamra said Monday in an interview in Paris after meeting President Francois Hollande. “We would only convene a summit if its success is guaranteed; meetings at the level of ministers and experts will therefore precede such an event.” Venezuela has proposed that heads of state from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers meet in November to discuss the price needed to sustain investments in future supplies, the country’s Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino said on Oct. 21. Speaking in Vienna during a meeting of experts from OPEC and from outside the group, del Pino said Venezuela seeks to set an […]

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Algeria Targets Hidden $40 Billion as Oil-Price Pleas Ignored

Day and night, trucks trundle the 10 miles from Algiers port to the suburb of Semmar, where workers unload and stack goods that will feed into a vast black market. Merchants pack narrow streets to buy canned and dry fruit, grains and vegetables for cash, with the biggest crowds gathering after dark. Bazaars like this drive a $40 billion untaxed parallel economy, one the government says it can no longer tolerate as the oil slump slashes revenue and fellow OPEC members rebuff Algeria’s pleas for steps to prop up prices. Under the terms of an amnesty, Algerians have a year to deposit income from undeclared businesses with banks and pay a 7 percent fee, or face punishment. For President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s administration, alternative measures — such as cutting a soaring bill for subsidies that helped ward off the strife which has swept the region since 2011 — aren’t attractive. […]

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Algeria Writes to OPEC Over Falling Oil Prices

Algeria has written to OPEC warning that a new drop in oil prices may warrant fresh discussions over the group’s strategy, people familiar with the matter said, the latest sign of economic stress for some members of the cartel. According to the people, Algerian Oil Minister Salah Khebri last week sent a letter to OPEC’s secretariat complaining oil prices have sharply declined since the group decided to keep its ceiling unchanged at a meeting in June. The international oil benchmark, Brent, now trades around $47 a barrel, compared with $62 a barrel at the time of that meeting. “The letter asked OPEC to consider taking some form of action” though it didn’t specify what measures, one of the people said. Another familiar with the letter said that in conversation with other members, Algeria had pressed for closer cooperation with non-OPEC producers. Economically-fragile countries in the Organization of the Petroleum […]

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Algeria Calls for Non-OPEC Output Cut to Stop Oil Price Slump

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries can do little to halt the oil price decline on its own and needs producers from outside the group to help in reducing global supplies, Algeria’s Energy Minister said. “A supply reduction by OPEC alone cannot really guarantee a return to oil market stability,” Salah Khebri said at an event in Algiers, according to Liberte newspaper. As the 12-member group of crude producing nations accounts for 40 percent of the world’s supply, “there should be steps taken within OPEC and with non-OPECs.” Khebri called earlier this month for an OPEC emergency meeting because of the continued decline in oil prices, which dropped by half from a year ago amid rising production from the U.S. Oil and gas sales account for about 60 percent of Algeria’s budget revenue and 95 percent of its export income, according to the International Monetary Fund. Algeria’s initiative to […]

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Algeria Replaces Oil Minister Ahead of OPEC Meeting — State News Agency

By Benoit Faucon and Michael Amon Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has replaced the country’s oil minister ahead of a crucial OPEC meeting, the country’s state-run news service said on Thursday. Salah Khebri, a consultant and the former head of the Algerian Petroleum Institute, replaces Youcef Yousfi as the country’s minister of energy and mines, said APS, the news agency. Mr. Yousfi, 74 years old, a long-serving Algerian politician, was the president of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in 1998 and 1999. He was named oil minister in 2010. Algeria will be among 12 OPEC nations that gather in Vienna on June 5 to decide whether to continue pumping increasing amounts of oil in the face of falling prices. Like other OPEC nations, Algeria’s budget is highly dependent on oil revenue and has been hurt by prices that have fallen by more than 40% since last summer. Mr. […]

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Algerian gas discovery made near Libya

Spanish energy company Repsol announces natural gas discovery in area along the border of war-torn Libya. Map courtesy of Repsol. MADRID, April 20 (UPI) — Spanish energy company Repsol announced Monday it’s made a natural gas discovery in Algeria, its third in an area bordering war-torn Libya. The company is the operator in a consortium that includes French energy company GDF Suez and Algeria’s state-owned Sonatrach. The company said gas flowed from a discovery at the so-called TESO exploration well in the Sud-Est Illizi block, where it’s already had a "very successful exploration campaign." The discovery is the third in the same region. The Spanish energy company said gas flowed at a test rate of 6.1 million cubic feet per day. "Repsol aims to drill at least four more additional wells in order to appraise the previous discoveries within the Sud-Est Illizi block," it said in its statement on […]

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Algerian Attempt to Rally Oil Prices Fails to Ignite

An Algerian invitation to fellow oil producers to work together on oil prices attracted only Angola this week, as the latest attempt to counter slumping oil prices failed to ignite. A Nigerian proposal last month to convey an emergency meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries immediately fizzled after the group’s kingpin Saudi Arabia opposed the move. Fears of a mounting oil glut amid resilient U.S. oil production and brimming inventories have driven oil prices down again in recent days—after already halving since last June. Writing on behalf of Algerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika, oil minister Youcef Yousfi sent invitations to a dozen countries, including Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Angola and non-OPEC producer Russia, to discuss a concerted response to falling oil prices as part of “consultative meeting” in Algiers on March 16, according to people familiar with the letter. But only Angola’s oil minister José Maria Botelho de […]

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Algeria: Sonatrach – Three Oil Fields Discovered Since Early 2015

Oran — Three oil fields were discovered by the national hydrocarbon group Sonatrach since the beginning of 2015, said Wednesday in Oran Chief Executive Officer of the oil company Said Sahnoun. "Sonatrach discovered for the year 2015, on its own account, three oil fields of extremely important quality," Sahnoun told APS on the sidelines of the festivities commemorating the 40th anniversary of the nationalization of hydrocarbons, hosted by the petrochemical zone of Arzew. The first oil discovery was made in the region of Touggourt while the second in Ghardaia. The third gas field was discovered in El Bayadh, said the official. These discoveries are being assessed by Sonatrach, followed by an appraisal programme that will start very shortly, added the source. Sahnoun said that the flows are "extremely encouraging ," adding that they range between 3,000 and 4,000 barrels/day.

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Shale Gas Project Encounters Determined Foes Deep in Algerian Sahara

ALGIERS — Deep in the Algerian Sahara, daily protests against a pilot hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, project are now well into their second month. The demonstrations have spread to several towns and have provided opposition parties with a new platform at an especially precarious moment for the government, as oil prices have slumped and the declining health of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has removed him almost completely from public view. Hundreds of police officers sealed off streets to block an antifracking march in the capital, Algiers, on Tuesday as opposition groups held rallies around the country in solidarity with the southern protesters in the distant oasis town of Ain Salah. At first glance, Algeria might seem an unlikely place for the sort of popular movement against fracking, a method of tapping into deep deposits of shale gas, that has unfolded in many Western countries. Money from oil and gas accounts […]

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Algeria Thwarts Plans to Attack Oil Installations

Algiers — In anticipation of possible attacks on the second anniversary of the Tiguentourine gas plant siege, Algerian troops stepped up security on the southern border. Authorities announced last week the foiling of a series of terrorist operations targeting three areas of oil and gas installations in the south. Army forces already succeeded in dismantling a 12-member terrorist cell that was planning attacks against vital facilities in conjunction with the January 16th anniversary of the In Amenas assault. The operation came a few days after the discovery of weapons and military equipment along the border area with Libya, which sparked fears of a fresh attack targeting oil facilities in the vicinity of Tiguentourine. A defence ministry communique stated that the neutralised terrorist cell was preparing to carry out operations in Algeria in co-ordination with groups operating abroad. The communique pointed to a link between this cell and a terrorist […]

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Algeria expects oil price to fall further, delays spending: PM Sellal

Algiers (Platts)–22Jan2015/608 am EST/1108 GMT Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said late Wednesday he expects the oil price to fall further, adding that Algeria is now in a state of economic "crisis." Speaking on state television, Sellal said Algeria is to defer a number of key infrastructure projects due to the falling oil price as the slump begins to hit the North African country’s economy. "The decline in the oil price will continue and it will not go back to $120/b," he said. "We are in a state of crisis," Sellal said. "Oil is below $50/b, and no one anticipated such a fall." Algeria’s 2015 budget is based on a price of $60/b. "We will continue to invest in social projects, but we will have to cut certain non-essential spending such as trams and railways. These will be postponed," Sellal said. Despite the economic crisis, Sellal said Algeria had […]

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Algeria Able to Cope With Impacts of Sliding Oil Prices, Says Djellab

Algiers — Algeria’s financial balances will not be affected by sliding oil prices, Minister of Finance Mohamed Djellab declared Monday in Algiers. In a statement to the Algerian television on the impact of oil price fall on the national economy’s financial balances, the minister stressed that Algeria has "mechanisms likely to cope with such situations" and thanks to the "cautious policy" the country has adopted for more than 10 years. Thanks to its policy, Algeria succeeded to refund its debts and therefore, have a "bigger capacity" to prepare for the new economic picture and accumulate huge foreign exchange reserves, Djellab said while insisting on the contribution of the Oil Revenues Fund to face the oil price drop. Oil prices reached their lowest level in the international market for almost five years. The Minister recognized the impact that the fall of oil prices can have on the national economy, saying, […]

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Algeria Bucks OPEC-Discount Trend With Venezuela Oil Sale

Algeria raised its oil price for November to the highest in five months after adding fellow OPEC member Venezuela , holder of the world’s largest crude reserves, to the list of its mostly European customers. The North African country will sell its Saharan Blend crude at a premium of 70 cents a barrel to Dated Brent, the North Sea benchmark, according to a price list obtained by Bloomberg. That’s the highest level since June and an increase from 20 cents in October. The first supertanker of Algerian crude arrived in Venezuela on Oct. 25, according to ship tracking data. “It’s primarily due to its sales to Venezuela” that Algeria has been able to raise premiums, Amrita Sen, chief oil market analyst at Energy Aspects in London , said by e-mail today. “Otherwise demand for light crudes has been super weak.” The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ biggest producers, including […]

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Algeria drawing more interest from energy players

Dragon Oil and Enel latest to examine energy potential in Algeria. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 1 (UPI) — Emirati energy company Dragon Oil and its Italian counterpart Enel said Wednesday they were awarded two contracts for oil and gas exploration in Algeria. "This achievement represents a strategic move for Dragon Oil to establish a footprint in another North African country known to be rich in hydrocarbon resources and opportunities," Dragon Oil Chief Executive Officer Abdul Jaleel al-Khalifa said in a statement. Algeria and Enel will work together in the Tinrhert Nord and the Msari Akabli license areas. Dragon offered no estimate of the reserve potential in the license areas in Algeria. In a separate statement, Enel said it’s the third-largest investor in the Algerian natural gas sector. Some of Enel’s legacy operations in the country could be producing 100 billion cubic feet of natural gas per […]

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Statoil, Shell to assess Algerian shale

Norwegian energy company Statoil joins Shell and Algerian energy company Sonatrach in assessing Algerian shale gas potential. UPI/Andy M. Kin/USAF STAVANGER, Norway, Sept. 30 (UPI) — Norwegian energy company Statoil and its counterparts at Shell said Tuesday they’d spend the next two years assessing the shale gas potential in Algeria. "Statoil is entering this shale play to test the prospectivity and commerciality through a step-wise approach," Nick Maden, a senior vice president of exploration for Statoil, said in a statement. "The first exploration phase is expected to last up to 2017 and include the drilling of two wells." Statoil and Shell entered a license in an Algerian shale area alongside state energy company Sonatrach, which holds the controlling interest. Algeria has the tenth-largest natural gas deposits in the world and is the third-largest gas supplier to Europe. Its exports have been in decline, however, because of lagging foreign investments. […]

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Statoil restarts Algerian gas work after terror attack

Norwegian energy company Statoil said it was ready to return to work in Algeria more than a year after terrorists stormed a gas facility there. Terrorists sympathetic with al-Qaida stormed the country’s In Amenas natural gas facility in January 2013, leaving 38 civilians and 29 militants dead. Statoil and its joint venture partners said they’re ready to resume ordinary operations at the plant after implementing new security measures at the facility. "The decision to resume ordinary operations at In Amenas is the result of a thorough and stepwise process of identifying necessary security measures, implementing them and validating that they are in place and operational," Lars Christian Bacher, executive vice president for production at Statoil, said in a statement Monday. In Amenas has a production capacity of approximately 315 million cubic feet of natural gas per year. Algeria’s state-run energy company Sonatrach operates the facility alongside British energy company […]

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Algeria Postpones Oil Bids to Sept. 30

LONDON—Algeria has delayed the deadline for its next oil-licence bids by about four weeks, people familiar with the matter said, as companies complain about investment conditions despite recent oil-sector reform. The date set for the submissions to the tender for oil and gas blocks has been reset to Sept. 30 from Sept. 4 previously, people familiar with the matter said. The development comes despite a new Algerian law—passed last year—that improves revenue sharing for companies that invest in difficult blocks, such as the country’s sizable natural-gas shale resources. One main concern for bidders is a clause that allows national oil company Sonatrach to make investment decisions without consulting its foreign partners, according to people at international companies involved in the licensing round. But an Algerian official said the delay was due to the need to handle "numerous applications" for the licensing round. At previous bidding rounds, Algeria has struggled […]

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Algeria's gas role questioned

Algeria’s role as a key supplier of natural gas to Europe should be reviewed given production declines, the European Council on Foreign Relations said Tuesday. The European Union spends an average $1 billion per day on energy imports. More than 60 percent of the region’s gas supplies come from foreign suppliers, notably Russia, Norway and Algeria respectively. A policy brief published Tuesday by the European Council on Foreign Relations said the EU has a short-sighted stance on Algeria, which should be viewed as an "unreliable partner." Mansouria Mokhefi, special adviser for the Middle East and North Africa at the French Institute of International Relations and author of the report, said that, while Europe is eager to diversify an energy sector dependent on Russia, Algeria may not be a good backstop. "Algeria’s sharp rise in domestic energy consumption and concurrent decline in gas production suggests that Algeria […]

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Algeria’s gas role questioned

Algeria’s role as a key supplier of natural gas to Europe should be reviewed given production declines, the European Council on Foreign Relations said Tuesday. The European Union spends an average $1 billion per day on energy imports. More than 60 percent of the region’s gas supplies come from foreign suppliers, notably Russia, Norway and Algeria respectively. A policy brief published Tuesday by the European Council on Foreign Relations said the EU has a short-sighted stance on Algeria, which should be viewed as an "unreliable partner." Mansouria Mokhefi, special adviser for the Middle East and North Africa at the French Institute of International Relations and author of the report, said that, while Europe is eager to diversify an energy sector dependent on Russia, Algeria may not be a good backstop. "Algeria’s sharp rise in domestic energy consumption and concurrent decline in gas production suggests that Algeria […]

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Egypt Seeks to Clinch LNG Deal With Algeria, But Will Pay High Price

;Egypt is set for an expensive price tag as it seeks to clinch a deal to import much-needed liquefied natural gas from Algeria, according to people familiar with talks between the two countries. Late last month gas-rich Algeria agreed in principle to supply Egypt with roughly five cargoes containing 145,000 cubic meters of LNG each before the end of the year. The deal, made during a visit by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to Algiers, is intended to alleviate Egypt’s energy crisis after talks for it to import more gas from Qatar broke down last August due to political tensions. "We had initially hoped that Algeria could be willing to give us a good discount or flexible credit terms, but as we stand we are likely to pay a high price for the deal," a senior Egyptian oil official said. "Algeria wants us to pay almost $13 per […]

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Algeria talks shale with U.S. energy secretary

The Algerian government views shale oil and natural gas as a way to add diversity to its energy sector, Algerian Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi said. Yousfi met with visiting U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in Algiers to discuss energy developments in the country, more than a year after terrorists stormed the In Amenas gas facility in the country’s eastern desert. "Algeria is currently evaluating the potential for shale oil and gas, attempting to determine the quality of the rock while studying all potential environmental impact," he said Sunday. "It is absolutely vital for us to use all possible resources to achieve energy security." Moniz, for his part, said U.S. companies experiencing success in the shale sector were interested in tapping into the Algerian energy market. Algeria has the tenth-largest natural gas deposits in the world and is the third-largest gas supplier to Europe. Its exports have […]

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Algeria authorizes shale gas exploitation

Algeria’s Cabinet has announced it will move forward with the exploitation of the country’s large shale gas reserves. The statement carried by the state news agency Wednesday night gave the green light to finding foreign partners to exploit the reserves. According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Algeria is third globally after China and Argentina in technically recoverable shale gas reserves with 707 trillion cubic feet (20 trillion cubic meters) of reserves. It has yet to be determined if the reserves are commercially viable. The state said 11 wells will be drilled over the next seven to 13 years. Algeria’s once rich oil and natural gas reserves have been declining in recent years.

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