Algeria: Crude Exports Down But Piped Gas Exports Soar

Algerian state oil and gas giant Sonatrach says that while its crude oil export volumes fell by 8% in the first eight months of 2016, overall petroleum exports were up 8%, implying a substantial rise in gas volumes. MEES crunches the data.

An acknowledgement from Algerian state firm Sonatrach that its crude export volumes for the first eight months of 2016 are well down, by 8% according to its reckoning, is hardly a surprise. Indeed rival data supplied to the Riyadh-based Joint Oil Data Initiative indicates a more substantial 11.5% fall from 599,000 b/d for Jan-Jun 2015 to just 530,000 b/d for the same period this year. Crude output has flatlined at 1.1mn b/d over the same period (see p8) but the amount of crude refined locally is sharply up, as is domestic consumption.

Sonatrach’s 3 September release says it exported 71.5mn toe in Jan-August 2016 versus 65.4mn toe in the same period last year “all products included.” In fact this is a 9.3% increase, although this falls to 8.7% when the extra day in 1H16 is controlled for. Whether 8% or 9%, the claim that overall gross petroleum exports are up sharply whilst those for crude are down, implies double-digit gains in gas volumes. (CONTINUED - 994 WORDS)