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Algeria says plans $45.5 bln energy investment

Algeria’s energy sector plans to invest $45.5 billion in 2008-2012, with $35.8 billion from state company Sonatrach and $9.7 billion from foreign partners, Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil said in remarks published on Sunday.

The aim of the spending is to increase the north African OPEC member country’s oil production and gas exports, Khelil was quoted as saying by the Algeria Weekly Energy magazine. “Sonatrach total investment, including its partners’ share, over the medium term plan of 2008-2012, amounts to $45.5 billion,” he was quoted as saying. “Of that figure some $35.8 billion represents Sonatrach’s own investment, transport by pipelines, downstream activities and petrochemical projects, as well as external servicing activities set up through joint ventures. “The remainder of $9.7 billion concerns investments by foreign partners.”

Sonatrach, the state-owned oil and gas conglomerate, is Africa’s largest company by revenue. Algeria, a major energy exporter to Europe, produces about 1.4 million barrels of crude oil per day. Its gas exports are currently estimated at 62 billion cubic meters per year, and are expected to reach 85 billion cubic meters by 2012.

Algeria is currently staging its first exploration and production licensing round since 2005. The round has been eagerly awaited by multinational companies seeking to explore in the country, Africa’s largest gas producer. (Reuters)