Algeria plans $70 billion shale gas investment

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CAIRO — Algeria plans to invest at least $70 billion to develop its shale energy sector.

SonatrachAlgeria’s state-owned energy monopoly Sonatrach has drafted a 20-year plan to develop natural gas from shale. Sonatrach intends to explore and develop shale reserves in the central Sahara Desert in wake of successful tests in December 2014.

“The pilot well in Ein Salah is producing clean gas,” Sonatrach managing director Said Sahnoun said on Jan. 11.

In an interview on Algerian state radio, Sahnoun said Sonatrach intends to produce 20 billion cubic meters of shale gas from 200 sites. He acknowledged protests by residents over concerns that drilling could contaminate ground water.

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