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Algeria’s deepening energy problems

Insecurity, economic malaise and uncertainty about the presidential succession are hindering the country’s oil and gas sector

Three dark clouds hang over Algeria and its oil and gas sector today in the form of a severe economic crisis, fear of more terrorist attacks on energy facilities, and uncertainty over the future presidential succession. One aspect of the economic difficulties is easily explained. Algeria relies on oil and gas export revenue for 60% of its annual budget expenditure. That revenue fell from $60.3bn in 2014 to $35.7bn last year, a drop of 41%. According to the IMF, GDP growth in 2015 was 3.7%. But the fiscal deficit almost doubled to 16% of GDP. No wonder Youcef Yousfi, Algeria’s energy minister between 2010 and 2015, and his successor Salah Khebri, have been so vocal in demanding fellow Opec m

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