Algeria expects to increase exports of natural gas in 2017 as it looks to build on its top spot in sales to Spain last year and strong sales to Italy and Portugal, Reuters reported. As Zawya informed, gas exports are expected to grow to 57bcm, up from the sales of 54bcm in 2016, as Sonatrach targets overall natural gas production at 141bcm in 2017. In comparison, Algeria’s gas output in 2016 was 132.2bcm, which marked a slight rise to 128.3bcm in 2015.

 

A source at the state energy firm Sonatrach announced that Algeria sold 20bcm of gas to Spain in 2016, covering 55% of Spain’s needs. Additionally, it supplied 16% of Italy’s demand and 15% of Portugal’s.

In 2016, the European Union and Algerian energy officials held a summit where EU officials and energy companies urged the country to adapt to more competitive energy markets to allow more gas to flow north. Accordingly, Sonatrach has taken a more flexible approach with foreign companies after several bidding rounds failed to attract new investment. The focus has shifted to improving existing field output and bringing online delayed projects.