Algeria Sonatrach to Invest $80 Billion in Energy, CEO Says

Sonatrach, Algeria’s state-run energy group, plans to invest $80 billion in oil and natural gas projects from 2012 to 2016, Chief Executive Officer Abdelhamid Zerguine said.

The company is committing $14 billion of the amount to building four refineries, Zerguine said today at a conference in Algiers. Sonatrach is budgeting $15 billion for investment in 2013, up from $10 billion in 2012, as part of the five-year plan, he said, without providing further details.

Algeria may not need to import any fuel oil next year as some domestic refineries resume operation, Sonatrach Vice President for Commerce Yamina Hamdi told reporters separately today in the capital city.

The North African nation, holder of the continent’s fourth-largest crude reserves, seeks to revamp its energy industry by attracting foreign investors while curbing a reliance on imported fuel. The government expects to approve a hydrocarbons law this year giving greater incentives to international investors. Algeria, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, pumped 1.2 million barrels a day of crude in October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Power consumption in Algeria, the Arab world’s second most-populous country after Egypt, will probably reach 80 terawatts by 2020 and 150 terawatts by 2030, said Noureddine Boutarfa, CEO of Sonelgaz, the state-run gas and electricity company, speaking at the same conference.

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