ALGIERS- The Ministry of Energy has completed the drafting of the implementing texts relative to the new Law on Hydrocarbons, which is expected to attract more foreign investors, said Energy Minister Mohammed Arkab on Thursday.
“These texts will soon be submitted to the Government, the Council of Ministers and the two chambers of Parliament for approval,” said the Minister before the members of the Finance and Budget Committee of the National People’s Assembly (APN- Lower House), as part of the review of draft bill on 2017 Budget Regulation.
These new texts which will complete the Law on Hydrocarbons approved late 2019 will constitute a comprehensive legal basis in a view to attract foreign investors, in compliance with international standards.
Under this Law and its implementing texts, Algeria ambitions to boost its oil and gas output, said the minister, stressing that tangible alternatives were needed in order to encourage hydrocarbon investments within a period not exceeding seven years.
Arkab said that the exploited surface of the national mining domain in the hydrocarbon sector does not exceed 38% of its total area estimated at 1.5 million km2, which requires more investment in the unexploited areas.
With international oil companies hesitating to come in Algeria because of the legal system, it was necessary to adopt a new hydrocarbon law that would prompt foreign investments, added Arkab.
Since last January, a significant number of memoranda of understanding have been concluded with major oil companies, he said.
Sonatrach in cooperation with the National Agency for the Development of Hydrocarbon Resources (ALNAFT) has launched “separate” investment studies in several oil and gas fields and deposits across the country, which previous law, particularly in the section on taxation, was not attractive for investments.
Citing Sonatrach’s priorities during the next stage, the minister said that the Company eyes to expand its upstream and downstream activities as it will prospect for, extract and exploit the petroleum resources in the unexploited areas like Naâma, Tindouf and Illizi. It also plans to conduct mega projects in the petrochemical industry.