The Algerian government intends to create conditions within the country that will encourage exploration of the nation's untapped conventional and unconventional resources, and will remain a destination for oil and gas investment despite the In Amenas terrorist attack earlier this year, Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines H.E. Youcef Yousfi told attendees at the IHS CERAWeek conference Tuesday in Houston.
Despite the terrorist attack on the In Amenas gas production facility earlier this year -- in which at least 39 foreign hostages and 29 militants were killed -- Algeria did not miss any deliveries to its customers, demonstrating its stability as a nation, Yousfi noted. The restart of operations at the plant began Feb. 22.
The energy minister highlighted the upstream and downstream opportunities available in Algeria, noting that Algeria's quality reserves, its proximity to European markets, pipeline and processing capacity make Algeria attractive for oil and gas investment.
The Algerian government hopes for production of unconventional gas to begin within the next five years, Yousfi noted. To encourage exploration, the Algerian government has introduced amendments to create a more flexible fiscal system. The Algerian government has also sought to explain to the Algerian public that all necessary steps will be taken to minimize shale exploration's impact on the local environment.
Despite environmental concerns, many Algerians see the benefit of exploring and producing Algeria's shale gas resources, including increasing the number of Algerian homes that have access to natural gas by 75 percent and for all Algerian homes to have electricity in the next few years, Yousfi noted.
Algeria's standard of life has improved dramatically since it joined the oil and gas industry 40 years ago, Yousfi noted, with impressive gains made in its education and health systems and economic gains in terms of job creations.
However, the Algerian government recognizes that diversification of its economy is important, and intends to build its economy.
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