Algeria is back to producing 1 million oil barrels per day

By Maureen Songne
Posted on Monday, 7 March 2022 16:57

Pump nozzles are pictured at a gas station in Algiers
Pump nozzles are pictured at a gas station in Algiers, Algeria April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

With the agreement of the Opec+ countries, Algiers wants to finally return to its pre-crisis production levels, at a time when prices are exploding due to the war in Ukraine.

In early March in Algiers, the minister of energy and mines, Mohamed Arkab, announced that Algeria’s oil production will exceed one million barrels per day (1,002,000 mb/d to be precise) in April.

The increase will be equivalent to 10,000 additional barrels per day compared to March. This press statement was made in the context of the 26th ministerial meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+), devoted in particular to examining the situation of the world oil market and its short-term prospects.

“The signatory countries of the OPEC+cooperation declaration have decided to continue the global increase by injecting an additional 400,000 b/d into the market next April,” said Mohamed Arkab, according to the official APS agency.

Since August 2021, OPEC+ member countries, and other major producers such as Russia, who have been coordinating their production within OPEC+, have committed to increasing oil production by 400,000 barrels per day until they catch up with the 5.6 mb/d production cut that took place in 2020. In 2021, OPEC member countries’ production was 26 million barrels per day. In January 2022, it reached 28 million b/d.

A concerted reduction in production

Particularly volatile since the health crisis, the price of oil has fallen sharply with the Covid-19 crisis from an average of $64 in 2019 to $42 in 2020 before rising to $71 in 2021, according to the latest estimates of the US Energy Information Agency (EIA). Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, prices have risen sharply again. At the close of trading on 4 March, a barrel of Brent crude oil was trading at $118, up 6.93% on the previous day.

Rising vaccination rates, the easing of pandemic-related restrictions and economic growth have led to increased global oil demand in 2021. This is despite the fact that in December 2020, OPEC+ member countries announced at the 12th ministerial meeting that they would continue to limit production increases throughout 2021 in order to support higher crude oil prices.

In Algeria, after an average production of 897,000 barrels per day in 2020 and 908,000 barrels per day in 2021, the passage to one million barrels in April will thus allow the country to return to a production rate close to its level before the health crisis, amounting to 1,023,000 b/d in 2019 according to the Opec Annual Report 2020.

At a five-year high of 1,146,000 b/d in 2016, this figure has only decreased over time to 1,059,000 b/d in 2017 and 1,040,000 b/d in 2018. In January 2021, a note from the Algerian Ministry of Energy indicated that a total of “DZD1,853bn [$12.4m] of oil taxes were paid to the public treasury, during the year 2020, down by 31% compared to the amount in 2019.”

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