Algeria: Mixed Shale Signals Highlight Deeper Economic, Political Disarray

Algeria seems unwilling to shelve its shale ambitions. Despite saying shale plans were on hold to 2022, state firm Sonatrach is pressing on with a pilot project. With lower prices and declining output pressuring the economy, contradictory declarations from top officials show a lack of cohesive, long-term vision.

Amid continuing public demonstrations in the province of In Salah, Algeria’s Prime Minister ‘Abd al-Malik Sillal on 21 January said shale exploration in Algeria was ‘not the order of the day.’ The drilling program at In Salah in southwestern Algeria’s Ahnet basin would be halted once drilling at a second well is to be completed, he said.


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