EconSource: Algeria Says Crude, Natural Gas Exports Down in 2014

Algeria’s crude oil and natural gas exports dropped sharply in 2014 after its ninth straight annual decline in its domestic energy production. Algeria has struggled to keep up production due to declining output and a lack of foreign investment. The government expects energy earnings will drop by 50 percent to $34 billion this year as a result of falling global crude oil prices. Officials have announced cost-cutting measures and attempts to control imports to counter the drop in prices.  Natural gas exports dropped 17 percent last year, while crude oil and condensate volumes fell 16 percent. The National Statistics Bureau said energy production has been in decline since 2006. [Reuters, 8/18/2015]

Iraq’s Abadi visits oilfield to reassure Lukoil amid protests
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited the West Qurna-2 oilfield to reassure its Russian operator Lukoil after officials warned production could be affected by protests. The state-run South Oil Company (SOC) last week sent a report to the oil ministry asking it to defuse protests near some of the southern fields where most of Iraq’s crude is produced, including West Qurna-2. In a sign of the growing challenges facing foreign firms operating in the south, hundreds of locals demanding jobs recently blocked some of the entrances to the oil field. “We explained in the report that if such undesired harassments to the foreign operators continue, oil production will definitely be affected,” said a senior SOC source. “The situation is under control and the companies must not fear any threat,” Abadi said. [Reuters, 8/18/2015]

Iraqi Kurdistan says oil pipeline sabotage cost it $501 million
Repeated sabotage by “organized gangs” of the oil pipeline from northern Iraq to Turkey has cost the autonomous Kurdistan region $501 million since July 1, the ministry of natural resources said. The flow of oil is currently suspended due to a theft attempt on the pipeline, which runs to the Turkish port of Ceyhan from fields in Iraq’s Kurdish north and Kirkuk. Lost revenue from July 1 to August 17 amounted to $251 million, the ministry said, “in addition to $250 million damage to KRG finances caused by the explosion on the pipeline at the end of July.” [Reuters, 8/18/2015]

Weak lira adds nearly $4 billion to Turkish natural gas bill
The weakening of Turkey’s lira has added nearly $4 billion to Turkey’s natural gas bill since the beginning of the year, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Wednesday. So far this year, the cost has risen by around 11 billion lira ($3.8 billion lira), Yildiz said. He added that there has been an 8 percent drop in Russian gas sales to Turkey in the last five to six months, without giving further details. Yildiz added he had sent a draft bilateral agreement to Russia on the proposed Turkish Stream project, a proposed natural gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey, and was awaiting a response. [Reuters, 8/19/2015]

Egypt to issue EUR 600 million one year T-bill
Egypt will issue a one year treasury bill worth EUR 600 million to local and foreign financial institutions on August 25, the central bank said in a statement said on Wednesday. The government has turned to the local money market to finance its public deficit since the 2011 revolution, which deterred many foreign investors. [Reuters, 8/19/2015]

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