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Algeria Resumes Some Operations at Plant Hit by Militants

Algeria resumed some operations at the In Amenas natural-gas complex more than a month after militants killed 38 workers during an attack on the facility near the border with Libya.

Sonatrach, the state-run energy company, reopened a unit of the plant with an annual output of 3 billion cubic meters, a third of the location’s total capacity, Chief Executive Officer Abdelhamid Zerguine said in an interview with state radio today.

Algeria is seeking to attract more international investment in its oil and gas industries amid increasing domestic demand for the resources.

The North African country’s gas exports dropped to 60 billion cubic meters a year, out of a total annual production of 80 billion cubic meters, due to higher domestic requirements, Zerguine said. Algeria will establish its first offshore-drilling project by the beginning of 2014 and in April will initiate a liquefied natural gas output with a capacity of 4.7 million metric tons a year, Zerguine said.

The country also plans to build five oil refineries with a combined annual capacity of 30 million tons a year by 2017, with four of the plants each having a capacity of 5 million tons. A fifth plant will be built offshore with a capacity of 10 million tons to support exports, he said.

Algeria, whose current refining capacity is 22 million tons a year, also plans to complete an upgrade of the Skikda refinery by the end of June, Zerguine said. The facility in the east of the country can process as much as 353,000 barrels of crude daily, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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