Algeria: New Energy Minister Faces Revenue Meltdown, Political Uncertainty

Falling output, rising consumption, rock-bottom revenues, zero attractiveness to foreign investors – Algeria’s new energy minister faces a daunting ‘in-tray.’

The 11 June appointment of Noureddine Bouterfa, former head of state utility Sonelgaz, as Algeria’s new Energy Minister has inspired cautious optimism. But President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s latest cabinet shakeup only adds to the sense of unease and indecision dominating the country’s political sphere, as the Opec member struggles to manage the double financial impact of the sharp drop in oil and gas prices and underlying output decline.

Mr Bouteflika’s latest reshuffle follows the previous one, just over a year ago in May 2015, and is the fifth since Prime Minister ‘Abd al-Malik Sillal took office in 2012. Mr Bouterfa takes over from Salah Khebri, who had served for just a year. The new minister called on energy executives to “join forces to together tackle the huge challenges facing the sector, in a spirit of consultation”. (CONTINUED - 1728 WORDS)