Sonatrach’s Vice President of Exploration and Production, Salah Mekmouche, said that the Algerian state energy producer plans to increase output of natural gas and crude oil by 20% in four years until 2020 as new projects start up, Bloomberg reported.
This came as Algeria has launched a program to rejuvenate its aging oil and gas wells and boost production as part of efforts to address a crash in oil earnings, according to Reuters. The program included Sonatrach using for the first time inexpensive techniques such as Early Production Facilities (EPF) and Central Processing Facilities (CPF) in order to boost wells.
Mekmouche added that Sonatrach will bring on stream Tiguentourine, In Salah, and Timimoune natural gas projects, in addition to oil wells of the Berkine basin, after spending $9b annually on exploration and development projects since 2015.
Sonatrach also plans to increase production from old oil wells in Hassi Messaoud, as six EPFs have already been installed around the giant oil field that lies about 400km from Rhourd Nouss and produces more than 400,000b/d.
Algeria is Africa’s biggest natural-gas producer and a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Its crude production increased to 1.16mb/d in November, the highest since 2013, after three years of declines and no change in 2015. Earlier 2016, Sonatrach projected that oil output is expected to reach 69m tons of oil equivalent in 2016, slightly up from 67m tons in 2015. Gas production is forecast to rise to 132.2bcm from 128.3bcm in 2015 and 130.9bcm in 2014.