Algeria Oil & Gas Profile - Embassy of Canada to Algeria

April 2021

1. Overview

Algeria, a country of 44 million, is the largest and one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. It remains politically stable. The Algerian economy is heavily reliant on hydrocarbon revenues, and the sector is the backbone of the Algerian economy, accounting for roughly 60% of budget revenues, nearly 30% of GDP, and over 97% of export earnings. 

Algeria is the 18th largest oil producer in the world and the third largest in Africa. It is an important gas producer and a key supplier to Europe. Algeria is the 10th largest gas producer in the world. Most of gas volume is exported through cross-border gas pipelines to Europe. Two southern European countries (Italy and Spain) accounted for two-thirds of these exports.

Algeria is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). 

About two-thirds of Algerian territory remains unexplored or largely underexplored. Most of these areas are in the north, the deep south and offshore.

2. Total aggregate

(Data from National Agency for Hydrocarbon Resources Valorization, ALNAFT)

2.1. Production:

Oil 1.1 Million barrels / day
Gas +124 Billion Cubic Meters / year)

2.2. Reserves:

Oil 20 Billion Barrels
Gas 6,100 Billion Cubic Meters

2.3. Unconventional Resources (in place):

Remained Volumes in Source RocksUnrisked VolumesRecoverable volumes from Source Rocks 5 & 20%
Oil (Billion Barrels)1,17432917
Gas (Trillion Cubic Feet)9,8184,456891

3. Onshore

Most proved oil reserves are in the country’s oldest and largest oil field, Hassi Messaoud, in the eastern part of the country. Hassi Messaoud is estimated to hold 3.9 billion barrels (Bbls) of proved and probable recoverable reserves, followed by the Hassi R’Mel Field (3.7 Bbls) and the Ourhoud Field (1.9 Bbls). 

4. Offshore

Algeria has more than 1,600 km of coastline on the Mediterranean Sea where oil and gas offshore basins cover an area of 93,500 sq km. According to the National Oil Company, Sonatrach, a first seismic survey revealed promising results. The overall area of the coastal strip to be opened for exploration is estimated at 5,000 sq km.

5. Hydrocarbon infrastructure

6. Legislation

The government is keen to relaunch international investments. Among the measures and efforts undertaken recently in this respect is the review of the country’s oil and gas legislation. In December 2019, Algeria published its new hydrocarbons law allowing shale resources development and providing for tax incentives and flexible commercial terms.

The new law maintains the 51-49% investment measure that gives majority stockholding to Sonatrach. It also reduces the tax burden by more than 20%, bringing it from 85% to 60-65%. It offers three types of contracts in exploration and production activities: a production sharing contract (PSC), a participation contract and a service contract.

The 51/49% investment rule will be applied to all extractive oil resources investment projects as confirmed by the government in the official Gazette of April 22nd, 2021.

7. Procurement

Government institutions and state-owned companies including Sonatrach buy foreign-made goods and services by way of open competitive or restricted tenders. All energy and energy-related tenders are available on Baosem ( This requires a subscription.

8. Opportunities

Sonatrach will invest USD 40 billion, 51% of it in the local dinar currency, over the next five year with a focus on:

9. International competition

Many IOCs operate in Algeria including BP, ENI, Equinor, Total, Repsol, CEPSA, Enel, Neptune Energy and Petroceltic.

Many foreign oil services, EPC, drilling and equipment companies operate in Algeria: Schlumberger, Halliburton, Weatherford, Baker Hughes, KCA Deutag, Nabors, FMC Technologies, JGC, Petrofac, SAIPEM, etc. Most of these companies have presence in Algeria (offices).

10. Keep in mind

Algeria is not a market for quick sales. Direct sales possible but local presence is recommended - Local agent is recommended to help navigate through bureaucracy and stay close to clients. Investing time and effort in building relationships and understanding the country’s tendering system is key to the success of Canadian companies. Frequent visits to the market and face-to-face meetings can make a real difference for the success of Canadian companies.

11. Key players

12. Key energy events in Algeria

Canadian Embassy, Algeria
Nasreddine Gouami
Trade Commissioner
Email :
Internet :

Useful Internet Sites

Author’s Name: Nasreddine Gouami

Date Modified: