It is now two years since Algeria took over its own oil and gas industries.?
It is now two years since Algeria took over its own oil and gas industries. An unsettled period followed, with a retaliatory French boycott causing Algeria difficulties in marketing her fusile. Now, however, things are more settled. France, though no longer the main customer, is buying once more. Algeria's oil and gas are now the mainstays of its economy.
Algeria has 300 operating oil wells, which produced 50 million tons last year. Nearly 90 per cent is sold in Europe, the rest going to the United states. The natural gas sector is now firmly established ad seems poised for a big expansion -- when existing drilling projects are finished, output will be boost from 8-10 million cubic metres a day to 30 million cubic metres. The United States is the major customer, but Algeria has also been negotiating contracts with Europe to avoid over-dependence on one country for sales. Spain and a consortium of companies from West Germany, France and Belgium have already concluded deals, and the algerian state oil and gas organisation (Sonatrach) has entered unto a partnership with two Italian companies to build pipe-lines which will eventually take gas direct to Sicily and the Italian mainland.