Algeria apparently expects that eagerly anticipated upstream and midstream projects will substantially increase gas reserves necessary for a number of government investment plans.

According to a report by African Energy, the North African country expects the projects to increase the gas reserves essential to fuel the government’s massive power, petrochemicals and hydrocarbons investment plans.

A top team of energy sector officials gathered for the mid-November 3rd Algeria Energy Week (SEA3) event, confident that Algeria had sufficient reserves of gas and money to fulfil its multi-billion dollar plans.

These plans include the development of electricity supply, export and domestic gas infrastructure, as well as a world-scale petrochemicals industry in the next decade.

The national oil company is dealing in large numbers, with Vice President for Finance Ali Rezguaïa telling SEA3’s 6th International Strategic Conference (CSI6) that Sonatrach’s 2008-2012 investment programme budgeted for $65.7bn spending within Algeria alone.

This was also not counting $28.6bn for petrochemicals investments, which Sonatrach is leading, plus $1.8bn for work abroad.

President Director General (PDG) Mohammed Meziane is reported to have told CSI6, that Sonatrach’s next investment programme (now being drawn up) would be unaffected by the global financial crisis and the ‘short-term phenomenon’ of falling oil prices. The programme therefore, would be ‘nearly the same’ as the current 2008-2012 spending plan, at around $45.5bn.