Algeria is ranked the fourth-largest producer of crude oil in Africa, with an estimated 12.2bn barrels of proven reserves as of January 2012. The country was also estimated to have 159trn cu feet (tcf) of proven natural gas reserves as of January 2012 and produced 2.83 tcf of natural gas in 2010. Given its substantial reserves, Algeria has maintained its position as a major global player in the hydrocarbons sector. Numerous contracts have been signed with international firms for new projects, which include plans to develop gas fields and unconventional sources. With new, long-awaited revisions to the hydrocarbons law, collaboration with international oil and gas firms is expected to intensify in the future. Algeria also has proven deposits of valuable minerals such as gold, zinc, copper, lead, uranium and phosphates. However, these have so far been largely unexplored. Therefore, as part of its economic development and diversification plans, Algeria is now setting up joint ventures with international mining companies to exploit these mineral reserves. The government offers incentives for investors in the mining sector, including tax exemptions and rebates.
This chapter contains interviews with Youcef Yousfi, Minister of Energy and Mines; Abdelhamid Zerguine, CEO, Sonatrach; Jean-Marie Dauger, Executive Vice-President, Global Gas & LNG Business Line, GDF Suez; and Farid Benhadji, CEO, Manal.