May 23, 2023
In 2021, more natural gas was produced in Algeria than in any year since record-keeping began in 1980, according to the data in our recently updated Country Analysis Brief: Algeria. Algeria produced 9.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of dry natural gas in 2021, a 23.4% increase from the 8.0 Bcf/d the country produced in 2011. Of the natural gas produced in 2021, 53% was exported. Although the overall volume of exports was greater in 2021 compared with 2011, the percentage exported in 2021 was smaller than in 2011, when 60% of Algeria’s natural gas was exported. Domestic consumption has increased over the last decade, but recent upgrades to export infrastructure capacity give Algeria the option to export more of its natural gas.
Algeria is a major crude oil and natural gas producer in Africa. At the beginning of 2023, Algeria held an estimated 159 trillion cubic feet of proved natural gas reserves. Algeria exports natural gas both by pipeline and as liquefied natural gas (LNG). Most of the country’s natural gas exports are sent to Europe.
Algeria currently owns and operates all four of its LNG terminals through the national energy firm, Sonatrach. The Skikda LNG terminal reopened in July 2021, nearly a year after the terminal shut down because of a turbine control mechanism failure. In February 2022, Sonatrach announced plans to modernize facilities at the Skikda LNG terminal by adding new LNG storage capacity and upgrading its export loading facilities to accommodate larger vessels.
Türkiye was the largest recipient of Algeria’s LNG in 2021, receiving more than 38% of Algeria’s exports, according to BP’s 2022 Statistical Review of World Energy. Collectively, European Union (EU) countries received more than half of Algeria’s LNG exports.
Algeria also has three major intercontinental pipelines that export natural gas to Europe:
The capacity of the Medgaz pipeline, which delivers natural gas to Spain, increased from 283 billion cubic feet per year (Bcf/y) to 378 Bcf/y at the end of 2021 after a third turbo compressor was put into service. Political tensions have affected Algeria’s natural gas trade with Europe. Algeria suspended delivery of natural gas exports via the MEG pipeline, which transverses Morocco, to Spain in October 2021 as a result of increased political tensions between Algeria and Morocco.
Principal contributors: Kimberly Peterson, Eric Han