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Algeria is becoming a relevant natural gas global player

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

Algeria, an African country, has been experiencing its most prosperous period of natural gas production, thanks to recent improvements in infrastructure capacity.

This places it in a strong position to enter the European market as a supplier of this hydrocarbon.

As of the beginning of 2023, Algeria's proven natural gas reserves were estimated at 159 trillion cubic feet. The country produces crude oil, dry natural gas, and liquefied natural gas (LNG), all of which are managed by the national energy company, Sonatrach.

In 2021, the country set a record by producing 9.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of dry natural gas, which was 23.4% more than in 2011, when it produced 8.0 Bcf/d.

This data was reported in the recently updated Country Analysis Summary: Algeria by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The report also indicated that 53% of the 2021 production was exported, compared to 60% in 2011. Despite the lower percentage of exports, the total exported quantity was higher in 2021.

Algeria exports natural gas via pipeline and in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG), with Europe as its largest client. In 2021, Turkey was the single largest recipient of this hydrocarbon.

Algeria is a producer of natural gas
Photography used for descriptive purposes

Presently, Algeria owns and operates four LNG terminals. The Skikda Terminal, one of these four, reopened in July 2021, almost a year after closing due to a failure in the turbine control mechanism.

Furthermore, Algeria has three large intercontinental pipelines that export natural gas to Europe. These are:

  1. The Enrico Mattei (Transmed) pipeline, which runs from Algeria through Tunisia to mainland Italy.

  2. The Medgaz pipeline, from Algeria to Almeria, Spain, via a submarine pipeline under the Mediterranean Sea.

  3. The Maghreb-Europe (MEG) pipeline, from Algeria through Morocco to Córdoba, Spain.

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