Algeria’s Sonatrach to spend $100 billion to reverse oil, gas output decline

July 23, 2014 | Algeria, Budget & Investment

Algiers, Algeria |-  Algeria’s state-owned Sonatrach plans to invest $100 billion by 2018 to reverse the country’s recent decline in oil and gas production and lay the ground for the start of shale gas production, according to the official Algerian news service APS.

The investment is aimed at boosting the company’s oil and gas production to 225 million mt/year of oil equivalent by 2018.

Oil and gas production is currently falling in Algeria amid low exploration activity and foreign investment, with Sonatrach’s output dropping from 232 million mtoe in 2008 to 194.5 million mtoe in 2012, according to official data.

Of the total $100 billion investment plan for 2014-18, the company is aiming to spend $42 billion on field development, according to the APS report. Some $22 billion of the development total is earmarked for gas fields.

Sonatrach is aiming to maintain oil production from the Hassi Messaoud field at 400,000 b/d and to recover an additional 400 billion cubic meters of gas from the Hassi Rmel field.

The company is aiming to start production from a number of new gas fields before 2018, including Tinhert (24 million cu m/day), Hassi Bahamou and Hassi Mena (21 million cu m/d) Touat (12 million cu m/d), Reggane (12 million cu m/day) and Timimoun (5 million cu m/d).

Sonatrach is also aiming to start production from its unconventional resources in 2020, targeting initial gas production of 30 Bcm/year from the first phase development of shale.

Algeria is estimated to have recoverable resources of 700 Tcf of shale gas and a further 300-500 Tcf of tight gas, according to official figures.