Algeria is working hard to start 2016 on a more positive energy footing. This year’s top management changes at both the energy ministry and state-owned oil and gas giant Sonatrach have been disruptive, bringing further uncertainty to an already challenging environment given the oil price collapse, production problems and multi-year project delays. But new Sonatrach CEO Amine Mazouzi and his team have injected something of a sense of urgency with a more pragmatic approach.

Algeria’s most recent bidround in late 2014 flopped with only four of 31 blocks awarded amid unattractive fiscal and investment terms. This, a repeat of the three previous bidrounds, led Energy Minister Salah Khebri, fresh from replacing Youcef Yousfi, to say that another round would only be held if there was reason to expect a different result. (CONTINUED - 1129 WORDS)