Algeria is keen to develop its rich shale deposits to diversify its energy sector and offset the decline in the country’s conventional oil and gas fields – the country’s Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi said during a visit of U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in Algiers.
“Algeria is currently evaluating the potential for shale oil and gas, attempting to determine the quality of the rock while studying all potential environmental impact,” Mr Yousfi said on Sunday. “It is absolutely vital for us to use all possible resources to achieve energy security.”
The two politicians met in Algiers to discuss energy developments in the country, more than a year after terrorists stormed the In Amenas gas facility in the country’s eastern desert.
“Our companies are interested in the Algerian market,” said Mr Moniz, “because they have extensive experience in the field of shale oil and gas exploitation, which has enabled us to realize an economic boom and energy independence.”
According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Algeria is third globally after China and Argentina in technically recoverable shale gas reserves with 707 trillion cubic feet (20 trillion cubic meters) of reserves.
Earlier this month, Algeria’s Cabinet announced it will move forward with the exploitation of the country’s shale gas deposits and give the green light to finding foreign partners to exploit the reserves.
So far, exploration agreements in the country have been signed by Eni SpA, Royal Dutch Shell, and Talisman Energy. ExxonMobil and Anadarko are also in talks with the government.
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