Algiers - Algeria's energy minister says there has been an
increase in the country's substantial gas reserves, thanks to recent
discoveries, without giving exact numbers.
Yousfi Yousfi told the state news agency new discoveries
this year, including as recently as last week, are very promising and will
result in an increase in estimated reserves.
His Monday announcement follows harsh criticism by the local
press that Algeria, Europe's No 3 gas supplier, will have trouble maintaining
its exports in light of rising local demand.
Algeria has an estimated 4 trillion cubic metres of gas
reserves and produces 50 billion cubic metres a year.
Local consumption is 31 billion cubic metres which has been
increasing at a rate of 2 billion a year.
He said Algeria's first nuclear plant is still set to come
online in 2025.