We have to understand between the lines of the statement, geodesic equation after mathematical equation, that Algeria has to produce some 200 billion m3 by 2030 to ensure 40% of public treasure revenue from gas, to ensure uninterrupted stability for our domestic consumption, and beyond that, to compensate for the end of life of some mega-deposits with other major discoveries.
This raises the issue – ignored and avoided because it upsets – of the actual and expected share of unconventional gas resources, currently estimated at 22,000 billion m3. It is a real hope for tomorrow. Loathed, justly or unjustly today, but unavoidable in a not so far future. Without major discovery, without a gas field of huge value, without a technology to enable a commercially profitable gas, will the issue of shale gas be identified as “a national priority” just like renewable energies ? Otherwise, domestic gas consumption will exceed production itself. In that case, Algeria will experience the full force of the Ponzi pyramid syndrome. Conversely, if the actual issue of a cleaner environment surrounding shale gas is settled through a referendum, as the constitution allows it, to determine future options of “the country’s gas survival” as Croesus once did with his gold wealth, the country will moves away from the spectre of permanent depletion of its conventional gas resources.
Terrorism by Daesh, which is a serious threat against the stability of hydrocarbons, continues to grow in Libya, and the warmongers are sure to impact market fundamentals directly. The worsening situation in Libya, which is already in chaos, will lead to lasting instability, from which the energy sector is struggling to emerge after a long convalescence, and Algeria will not go unharmed.
Market, prices, agreement, stability, regulation, strategy, terrorism, shale oil and gas: these words and concepts, which were canonized yesterday, are today twisted and abused. It is time for us all to give them the place they deserve. That is why the Algerian government has just launched its first preferred share in this area.
Will it be understood ? Will it bring about mobilization beyond political contingencies, doctrinal differences, and political asperities? Or, will the slight rise in prices, and optimism about a balanced price between $50 and $70 dollars for the coming months, push away this awakening as a mere round trip ?
To be followed… closely.