Algerian Minister of Energy Salah Khebri urged Sonatrach Group to increase its output, claiming that the company was behind schedule and causing delays in wider operations in the country.

Speaking during the appointment ceremony of four new vice-presidents of the group in Algiers, the minister said that Sonatrach must increase its output capacities to cope with the new circumstances marked by sharp fall of oil prices, APS reported.

He said, production capacities have been in decline since 2009.

“The government expects much from Sonatrach. Sonatrach has to seriously handle this aspect (increasing the production),” Khebri told the new managers of the group.

The minister blamed the group’s management for delays in the implementation of the projects, which had been designed to respond to the current slowdown of the Algerian economy.

He also accused of heads of the company of a failure to respond to the plunging price of oil.

He said that all planned projects for Sonatrach’s development are late and that foreign oil companies are complaining about the sluggish response from Sonatrach, Middle East Confidential reported.

Production objectives set in the development plan are not being respected, said the minister, nor are the timelines, a situation that is unacceptable in this period of crisis.