Algeria’s shifting gas export strategy – Between policy and market constraints
This paper, by Hakim Darbouche, analyses the main drivers of Algeria’s gas export strategy since the early 2000s. It argues that, after suffering a series of setbacks owing to the policy inconsistencies of the administration of former energy minister Chakib Khelil, Algeria’s gas export strategy now faces a number of constraints as a result of changing market conditions. The situation inherited by the new leadership at Sonatrach and the Algerian energy ministry leaves limited options for the optimisation of Algeria’s gas exports in the short to medium term. Up to about 2014, the maximisation of the value of available exports is highly likely to take precedence over the preservation of market share, while large parts of the country’s gas export infrastructure will be under-utilised for most of the 2010s. To address this situation, decision-makers in Algeria will have to take meaningful action to improve the gas supply-demand balance.