ALGIERS, July 6 (Reuters) – Algerian state energy group Sonatrach expects to start production from six gas fields with a total capacity of 74 million cubic metres per day in the next three years, the official APS news agency reported on Sunday.
Oil and gas exporter Algeria, a major supplier to European gas markets, has been struggling to increase its energy output, on which it relies heavily for state spending to finance development and social programmes.
Energy output has been declining since 2010 due to a fall in exploration activities and a lack of investment from foreign companies which have been wary of Algeria's contract terms and also security since a 2013 militant attack on a gas plant.
But Algeria expects production to grow when gas flows start from the Tinhert field with an output of 14 million cubic metres per day before reaching 24 million cubic metres in 2017, APS said in the report, citing an unnamed source at Sonatrach.
The fields of Hassi Bahamou and Hassi Mena will start production in 2017 with a capacity totalling 21 million cubic metres, according to the report.
The Reggane project, to be developed with Spain's Repsol , Germany's RWE-DEA and Italy's Edison, is also expected to start production in 2017 with 12 million cubic metres per day.
Sonatrach and partner France's GDF plan to start pumping from the Touat field in the next three years with a capacity of 12 million cubic metres.
Sonatrach is also developing the Timimoun project in partnership with French group Total, and production will start between now and 2018 with 5 million cubic metres, the report said.
(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Patrick Markey and Mark Potter)
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