Algeria: Three Conditions... Before Renewing With Shale Gas Exploration

date 2017/09/12 views 1689 comments 0
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icon-writer Imène Kimouche /*/ English Version: Med.B.

Energy experts require the availability of three factors before the return of exploration for shale gas in Algeria, so as to avert the adverse scenarios of chaos and controversy raised by such a burning file in 2015, especially in the southern region of ​​Ain Saleh.

These conditions are designed to initiate a large awareness campaign for the population before the announcement of the first step in this project, and acquisition of the necessary technological equipment that will ensure the non-consumption of large quantities of water with no harm to the local environment and health of the population, as well as conduct a prior study on the economic feasibility of rock gas in itself, as fuel prices have been rising since July 2014.

According to energy expert, Mr Abderrahmane Mebtoul, the resumption of talk about drilling for shale gas requires a policy quite different from that adopted by the Government two years ago, in order to head off the bleak scenario of massive population protests in the region of Ain Saleh for several months, through the launch of a campaign to sensitize the local populations about the dire necessity of waging such an energy project.

 "The government needs to gauge the country’s reserves of shale gas, as well as to search for new energy resources such as solar, wind and even nuclear power, to inject new revenues into the country's plummeting oil revenues.

In the years to come, Mr Mebtoul said that the people must be fully aware of this projected endeavor through a broad awareness campaign that the government should lead shortly to this effect.

As required by the expert, the government is required to carry out an in-depth study on the economic impact and material costs of exploitation of shale gas, and whether it will be useful, in light of fluctuations in the price of oil, and the negative indicators of the market, which are expected to last long.

From Ain Saleh to Hassi Messaoud, new fuel channels must be developed, in addition to the harnessing of the necessary technology and equipment, in addition to ensuring the efficient training of workers in this field, he added.

He stressed that the Presidency of the Republic received a complete file on the reality of the rock gas in Algeria and the conditions of exploitation two years ago, including the importance of preserving water and the health of the local population and the environment, noting that the consideration of the exploitation of rock gas should not be positive by 100 percent and not negative, stressing that one must be careful and avoid exploiting this energy wealth before the year 2020, in order to provide the required technology and thus garner significant spin-offs.

The mooted shale gas file returned again to the limelight, through the government's plan of action drawn up in early September, and which will be expounded by Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia before parliament on Sunday.

The plan points notably to the encouragement of exploration with the aim of introducing a greater capacity of national hydrocarbons of shale gas, as this is deemed by the public authorities as an urgent need to safeguard the country's independence in the field of hydrocarbons.

According to the plan, the exploration of shale gas, which will require years of in-depth research and minute assessment, ought to be carried out in strict respect for the environment and health of the population and will be accompanied by a special effort of explanation and evaluation towards the national public opinion so as to turn it into a successful and rewarding endeavor.

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