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Algeria oil and gas revenues up 25 percent in 2010, says energy minister

Revenues in the sector are up despite contraction, said Algerian minister, who added that nuclear and renewable energy programmes are still on the table for near future

AFP, Tuesday 4 Jan 2011

Algeria's oil and gas revenues rose by 25 percent year-on-year in 2010, to $55.7 billion, Algerian Energy and Mines Minister Youcef Yousfi said on Monday.

However, overall hydrocarbon production registered a "slight contraction, but not a drop," he told national radio, without elaborating.
"What is important is the value of exports and not the volumes exported," Yousfi added.

Algerian state energy firm Sonatrach announced last month that it expects revenues in 2010 to reach $56-57 billion for a production of 220 million tonnes of oil equivalent. In 2009, the firm produced 222.5 million tonnes of oil, and 231.9 million in 2008.

Yousfi also said Algeria is studying ways to launch its first nuclear power plant within 15-20 years because the country has sufficient uranium reserves. The country currently runs two experimental nuclear reactors in Draria and Ain Oussera.

Algeria is also planning to beef up its renewable energy industry, the minister said, with "a very ambitious programme" aimed at producing 40 per cent of current energy levels from wind and solar power over the next 20 years.

He said Algiers has nonetheless not yet approved a development bid by Desertec, a project spearheaded by a group of German companies that aims to create a vast wind and solar power network in North Africa and the Middle East.

"The government gave neither the green light nor the red light to Desertec. Let's outline the project first and then we will discuss with all our partners, without excluding anyone," Yousfi said.


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