Algeria: The Arab World’s Often Forgotten Massive Oil Giant
From Al Bawaba
Algeria plays a critical role in the international oil and gas market. It is the third largest natural gas producer in the Arab world after Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the leading gas exporter in Africa and an energy supplier to France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, US and China.
The EIA estimates Algerian proven crude oil reserves at 12.2 billion barrels but its real geological prize is its 160 trillion cubic feet reserves of natural gas. Opec economists in the Vienna secretariat estimate that Algeria could well double its oil and gas production in the next decade, since its Saharan hinterland is largely unexplored. The end of the civil war, the highest oil and LNG prices in world history, $90 billion in foreign exchange reserves and the moderate, pro-market policies of President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika have ignited an economic boom in Algeria.
With four refineries pipelines to Tunisia and Morocco, the production of 1.2 MBD in low sulphur content crude oil (second only to Nigeria in Africa), 280,000 barrels of condensates and 340,000 barrels of gas to liquids, Algeria is the Arab world’s energy superpower in the Maghreb. Algeria’s Hassi Massoud oilfield, near the Libyan border, has proven reserves of 6.4 million barrels alone and produces 600,000 barrels a day. Algeria oil engineers played a crucial role in the development of Abu Dhabi’s Adnoc Qatar’s Qatargas and Kuwait’s KPC. Algeria fascinates me because the discovery of oil in 1958 happened during the bloodiest anti–colonial revolt of national liberation in Arab history.
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