The Financial Times devoted this April 20 a detailed analysis of the economic situation in Algeria by deciphering the failures of the policy of management of hydrocarbon reserves and national production of oil or gas. For the Financial Times, Algeria has missed a huge opportunity to “exploit its potential” in gas or oil as hydrocarbon prices are breaking records on world markets.
Even if Algeria remains the third supplier of natural gas on the European continent with more than 8% of the gas market shares of the old continent, “Algeria does not have enough additional gas to make easily available”, explains the media. which forecasts alarming prospects for the near future for the Algerian production of natural gas.
According to the newspaper, the decline in Algerian production is likely to worsen in the years to come because of a “long-standing shortage of foreign investment in the Algerian hydrocarbon sector”. The Financial Times also points to Algeria’s heavy bureaucracy as one of the reasons why the country’s natural gas export capacity is increasingly limited.
“Political tensions with Morocco, the neighboring country on the Western Sahara issue, have also hampered Algeria’s export potential, leading to the closure last year of the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline to Spain,” said also noted the Financial Times which did not omit to highlight the damage of the multiple corruption scandals on the improvement and the development of the national production of natural gas or crude oil.
In this context, Algeria could not retain its influence on the world energy scene for much longer. The Financial Times quotes, on this subject, Mostefa Ouki, research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, according to which “in the short term, Algeria could only supply Europe with a few billion cubic meters of additional gas “.
The Financial Times recognizes, all the same, that Algeria has benefited moderately from the rise in gas and oil prices by offering exports of more than 35 billion dollars while the country had garnered in 2020 barely 20 billion of its oil or gas revenues. This has enabled it to increase its tax revenue and finance new social reforms such as the introduction of a new unemployment benefit since last March.
Source The Financial Times