Algerian Oil/Gas Export Value Up in 2017
The value of Algeria's 2017 oil and gas exports rose to $31.6bn, up 13% on their $27.9bn value in 2016, central bank governor Mohamed Loukal told parliament February 12. Oil and gas exports declined in volume in 2017 along with upstream production, whereas in 2016 they had increased by 10.6% year on year. Algeria’s economy grew by 2.2% in 2017, down from growth of 3.3% in 2016.
Despite higher exports of its biggest earning products, State news agency APS quoted Loukal as saying that Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $97.3bn at end-2017, from $114.4bn at end-2016.
The APS report of Loukal’s speech gave no breakdown of gas/LNG exports. Normally the bank provides statements on its website, but none were yet published for full year 2017 as of February 13. Its 1H 2017 report indicated a trend for higher oil and gas prices.
State producer Sonatrach has yet to publish 2017 export data and so Algerian official LNG exports are not yet available. However, based on official European sources, last week's NGW Magazine reported that, whilst the volume of piped gas exports from Algeria to Italy was constant in 2017 year on year, Algerian exported 1% less gas to Spain through the Maghreb-Europe pipeline that crosses Morocco; and 12% less through the direct Medgaz pipeline, with Algerian LNG imports by Spain lower by 20%.
However the start up of the Reggane Nord gas field in December 2017, soon to be followed by two others, should increase 2018 gas export volumes, while maintaining supplies to Algeria's gas-hungry domestic economy. The country's officials see a need to attract foreign capital into new production, to offset declines in legacy gas fields, with the CEO of Sonatrach talking of a plan to invest $56bn spread over five years – though he is yet to release details of how much, if any, would be foreign cash.