The Algerian public company Sonatrach announced its intention to invest no less than $ 70 billion to exploit shale gas in Algeria over the next 20 years. The CEO of Sonatrach, Said Sahnoun, vowed this investment despite the opposition of the inhabitants in the Saharan regions.
The oil company will invest about $70 billion over 20 years to produce 20 billion m3 of shale gas a year the CEO told the public radio. This project will create 50 000 jobs, assured Mr. Sahnoun. Estimates of Sonatrach indicate Algeria should drill 200 wells per year to be able to produce 20 billion m3 annually.
In order to extract shale gas, a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals is blasted deep underground to release hydrocarbons trapped between layers of rock.
The protests against the exploitation of shale gas have increased in the cities of the Algerian Sahara since the oil group announced its intention in late December having successfully completed its first pilot drilling in the In Salah region.
In Algeria, oil accounts for over 95% of export earnings, proven reserves of conventional gas are estimated at more than 4,500 billion cu. m. and the oil to more than 12 billion barrels.
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