In a remarkable volte-face, Algeria, which had been MENA’s biggest cheerleader for shale gas, now says any exploitation will be “left to future generations.” Though ostensibly in response to environmental protests, the collapse in oil prices, and with it the country’s revenues, is a key underlying factor.

In what must rank as one of the most rapid policy reversals of recent times, Algeria has shelved plans to explore for shale gas. Once two current test wells are complete, there will be no further shale drilling until at least 2022 Prime Minister ‘Abd al-Malik Sillal told state TV on 21 January. “Shale gas exploitation in the south of the country is not the order of the day,” he says. (CONTINUED - 888 WORDS)