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Algeria’s upstream rebirth is interrupted

A promised rejuvenation of the hydrocarbons sector and state oil company has been stopped in its tracks

Algeria’s long-awaited new hydrocarbons law became one of the first on the statute books days after the appointment of a new government in January. Yet just months later the revival of the company’s upstream looks to have ground to a halt. With coronavirus ripping through the global economy and oil prices plumbing 17-year lows, president Abdelmadjid Tebboune issued an order that the state budget be reduced by 30pc. As part of that order, state-owned Sonatrach has been told to slash in half its planned expenditure for 2020. Passage of the law, which languished on the drawing board for years, signalled the priority given to attracting renewed foreign investment in Algeria to boost stagnant oi



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