Sonatrach has a new CEO. Again. On 5 February Algeria replaced Kamel Eddine Chikhi, who only took over the post in November, with VP for Development & Marketing Toufik Hakkar. The new oil boss is Sonatrach’s fourth CEO in less than a year. If only the pace of management changes was matched by progress at the country’s major upstream projects, Algeria’s fortunes would be on a far better track.

This lack of progress is exactly what Algeria’s new hydrocarbons law aims to change. As the main architect of the oil law, Mr Hakkar looks well-placed to lead a revival of the country’s paramount oil sector. The jury is still out on whether a reduced tax take of around 20 percentage points will be enough to catch the attention of IOC cash (MEES, 10 January). (CONTINUED - 1089 WORDS)