Algeria’s state energy firm Sonatrach has completed a new natural gas pipeline as it tries to meet local demand and increase exports,  Reuters stated.

Sonatrach’s CEO, Abdelmoumene Ould Kaddour, opened the 536-long pipeline linking the desert areas of Rhourd Ennous and Hassi R’mel at the end of May. It has a capacity of 12bcm per year.

In addition, a large portion of the gas transported through the pipeline will be for local consumption. The OPEC member country, Algeria, has been hit by a fall in budget revenues since the decline in crude oil prices, forcing the government to freeze infrastructure projects. However, authorities have maintained priority projects, mainly in the energy sector, and social welfare programs, according to Hellenic Shipping News.

Moreover, the North African Country has announced plans to increase its gas output to 141.3bcm this year and 143.9bcm in 2018, from 132.2bcm in 2016.