Publié le lun 3 Déc 2012

Revue de presse anglophone sur l’exploitation du gaz de schiste en Algérie


Revue de presse anglophone sur l’exploitation du gaz de schiste en Algérie. Ces liens ont été envoyés par un ami sur notre boite mail:

1. Algeria In Bid To Attract Shale Gas Exploration With Tax Incentives

Posted on November 26, 2012

VENTURES AFRICA – Algeria hopes to become Europe’s main shale gas supplier, potentially introducing tax breaks to incentivise gas exploration by large multinationals.
The North African country has proposed tax breaks for companies coming into the country to undertake gas exploration – as it is widely thought that Algeria may house significant reserves of shale gas under the extensive Sahara desert. The International Energy Agency has put estimates of Algerian shale at 231 trillion cubic feet, giving the country new added importance on the global gas market.

The proposed tax incentives are currently being debated by the country’s parliament, and it is expected that approval will be given in the near future – potentially as soon as next week.
With this in mind, Algeria has launched into a string of discussions with multinationals with a view to securing exploration contracts. Eni SpA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, and Talisman Energy have already reached agreements with Algeria to commence explorations once the tax breaks are finalised; while discussions with Exxon Mobil Corp are still underway.
Europe currently purchases gas from Russian provider OAO Gazprom, which currently sells gas at roughly triple the price of other supplies such as the US, given that it links its prices to oil prices. As such, an alternative provider charging lower costs for the supply of gas to Europe could stand to steal the market.

Were the estimated 231 trillion cubic feet of shale gas recovered and piped to Europe, Algeria could quite easily meet demands from the E.U. for another ten years, and could earn the North African country in the region of $2.6 trillion according to current pricing trends.

Algeria is currently well-positioned to take advantage of its shale gas reserves, as other countries on the African continent currently face obstacles to the recovery of shale reserves. Libya – which has substantial reserves – is hindered in recovery by continued spates of warring; while South Africa only partially allows the use of hydraulic fracturing in gas production processes, as such significantly slowing the rate of recovery.It is in this context then, that the President of Algeria, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has plans to import hydraulic fracturing technologies in order to maximize on Algerian shale recoveries, reports Reuters.

2. Algeria to exploit controversial shale gas AFP Wed, 14/11/2012 – 12:26

ALGIERS — Algeria, the world’s fourth-largest gas exporter, has decided to develop its shale gas potential, but experts fear this could cause severe environmental problems.

Officials say the country’s shale gas reserves are 600 trillion cubic feet (17 trillion cubic meters), or around four times greater than its current known gas reserves.

Algeria may be the world’s eighth-largest natural gas producer in 2011, according to the BP Statistical Review of Energy, but domestic consumption is surging. Official forecasts say that, from 2019, local demand will eat up all the country’s production.

At present, 50 years after it gained independence, the country remains almost totally dependent on hydrocarbons, which account for 90 percent of its exports.

So as long as it fails to diversify its export base, it has no alternative than to develop shale gas, an unconventional fossil fuel, to secure its energy future, experts say.

A new hydrocarbons bill, to be introduced in parliament in the coming weeks, encourages the exploration of unconventional gas and oil resources.

However, the effect on the environment of the production of shale gas is of great concern to ecologists.

Chems Eddine Chitour, director of fossil energy development at Algiers’ Ecole Polytechnique, is concerned that the method used for obtaining the fuel trapped in formations of shale rock could be geologically dangerous and also put a strain on the largely desert country’s water supplies.

“Induced hydraulic fracturing weakens the ground and the subsoil, making earthquakes more likely, » he said.

« It mobilizes vast quantities of water and will permanently destroy the ecosystem of the Sahara. Injecting 15,000 cubic meters (530,000 cubic feet) per well, with a well every 100 meters, is catastrophic for a country with such water scarcity. »

Chitour, like many ecologists, also said the chemicals used in the injection risked polluting the water table.

3. Sonatrach and Eni to develop Shale gas in Algeria by Abdelghani Henni on May 1, 2011

Eni has confirmed significant shale gas reserves in Algeria.

Algeria’s state controlled energy company Sonatrach has signed a cooperation agreement with Italian company Eni, for the development of unconventional oil and gas in Algeria, with particular focus on shale gas, Sonatrach has confirmed in a statement.

The accord is the first of its kind signed so far in Algeria as it seeks to revive lukewarm foreign interest for the development of its hydrocarbons.

In a statement, Eni said the deal will have particular focus on shale gas as the Italian company says there are « significant » reserves of such gas in Algeria.

But former Sonatrach CEO Abdelmadjid Attar countered that « conventional hydrocarbon exploitation carries the same environmental risks. »

Algiers says safeguards will ensure environmental protection, but Chitour is not convinced.
« The absence of debate on the energy future of the country is a mistake, » he said, adding that this would have adverse effects for generations.

There must be a « comprehensive strategy [to ensure] that shale gas will comprise only a very small amount of the energy supply. »

The costs of shale gas exploitation are also high, Energy and Mines Minister Youcef Yousfi said, and « exporters and importers will have to share the risk. »

And Yousfi’s predecessor, Nordine Ait Laoussine, said, « There is still much left to do on the conventional side, not only in unexplored areas but also in those already in production. »

To develop its shale gas potential, Algeria’s hydrocarbons company Sonatrach has signed agreements with the Anglo-Dutch oil group Shell, Italian Eni and Canadian Talisman.

In 2011, Sonatrach drilled its first shale gas wells in the Ahnet basin near Tamanrasset, about 2,000 kilometers south of Algiers.

On Thursday, Sonatrach announced a new gas discovery in the southeast, near Illizi, and will also begin offshore exploration in 2014.

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