Algeria: If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Algeria is preparing for its next bid round only weeks after its latest auction did not live up to expectations. Is this pragmatism, or an unwillingness to tackle the problems of attracting foreign investment?

For all the accusations levelled at Algeria’s energy regulator, a lack of continuity is not amongst them. Still licking its wounds from a disappointing bid round that concluded late in September, Alnaft, the body charged with drawing foreign investment to the country’s ailing oil and gas upstream, is already preparing the next auction.

On 29 October, at the signing ceremony for the four blocks that had been awarded in September, Alnaft head Sid Ali Betata announced that the next bid round was scheduled to be launched in the coming weeks. In keeping with Algeria’s reputation for opacity, he declined to give further details, adding to the confusion over this latest move. (CONTINUED - 1055 WORDS)