US Energy Department revises upwards estimate of Algeria's gas reserves by three times

Jun 12, 2013 12:00 AM

The United States Department of Energy has revised upward its estimates of the technically recoverable shale gas resources in Algeria by three times, to an estimated 19,800 billion cubic metres from the previous 2011 estimate of 6,440 billion.

In its updated report on the shale gas and oil resources in 42 countries, the US Department of State presented a comprehensive technical and geological survey and maps on the unconventional hydrocarbons resources in Algeria in about thirty pages.

With the new estimates, Algeria ranks third behind China, which is estimated to have recoverable shale gas reserves of 31,220 billion cubic metres and Argentina with 22,500 billion cubic metres.

Drawn up in collaboration with the US Advanced Resources International (ARI), the report states that Algeria has seven basins with shale formations, namely the basins of Mouydir, Ahnet, Berkine-Ghadames, Timimoun, Reggane and Tindouf.

The report also notes that the national hydrocarbons company, SONATRACH, has undertaken a "comprehensive effort" to define the size and quality of its shale gas and oil resources, and to establish a database on the main shale basins of Algeria.

The Algerian oil group plans to drill a series of wells to test the productivity of the high priority basins, targeting shale formations with specific technical criteria and at moderate depths (less than 3,000 metres), the report adds.

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