Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour has adopted a pragmatic approach to Sonatrach’s downstream strategy since taking over as CEO in early 2017.

He rapidly canned three of four planned new refineries and in August opined that the ongoing, and massively delayed, expansion of the modest Algiers plant “should never have happened.” Instead he has secured a quick victory in ending imports of diesel and gasoline (at least as far as the statistics are concerned) via a processing deal with trading giant Vitol. Products imports cost Algeria $4.4bn as recently as 2013, but the bill was just $880mn for the first 10 months of 2018 (see chart and MEES, 7 December). (CONTINUED - 874 WORDS)