Oran, Algeria | – Algeria plans to begin production of shale gas in 2022, says Said Sahnoune, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the state-owned oil and gas corporation, Sonatrach.
He said in a media statement on the sidelines of the International Conference on the Algerian Gas Industry now underway in this western city that “Algeria may start producing shale gas in 2022, if the drawn-up plan could be executed under the right conditions”.
“By 2025, we could also achieve a production level of about 10 billion cubic metres (m3) of shale gas,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Conference on Gas Industry in Algeria was opened Sunday by Algerian Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi. The event is being attended by officials from the energy sector as well as international experts and several international companies specializing in the gas industry.
The minister told the conference that Sonatrach produced some 2.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the first nine months of this year, adding that the level of hydrocarbon output was “very satisfying”.
Oil production in Algeria is “the outcome of the huge efforts made to extend exploration and modernize methods and equipment”, Yousfi stressed.
“The efforts are made by Sonatrach alone or as part of partnership we seek to promote, especially through amendments to the law on hydrocarbons,” he said.
During the two-day meeting, the participants will discuss two themes — “Non-conventional resources in Algeria: Potential and prospects” and “50 years of the LNG industry: Algeria’s experience”.
The conference is aimed at informing participants about the national potential in non-conventional resources, discussing the prospects of developing this potential and enhancing the Algerian experience in the gas industry and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
In a paper presented to the conference, Sonatracch Director for Unconventional Energy Projects Mohamed Kaced said Algeria had great potentialities for the exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbon resources, explaining that the potentials of the country’s shale gas were “huge”.
He said several studies using advanced techniques have been carried out in this regard and five potential basins have been targeted with research showing that Algeria does not differ significantly from the North American region, particularly the United States, the first country to exploit shale gas as an unconventional resource.
According to him, these studies, launched in 2007, showed a huge gas potential in the prospective areas.
“According to the studies, these areas contain 4,940 trillion cubic feet (148,000 billion cubic metres), or equivalent to 248 billion barrels (of oil)”.
The exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbon resources, scheduled for the next few years, would require advance technology and great operational and financial capacity, hence the need to establish targeted partnerships with foreign companies.