US Algeria oil deal

Algeria-US relations have been on eggshells since Trump’s administration recognised Moroccan sovereignty in Western Sahara and Algeria turned to Russia for military supplies, however, neither side is willing to let existing ties deteriorate further.

Therefore, the memorandum signed between US oil giant, ExxonMobil, and Algeria’s state company, Sonatrach, on 23rd May, may be a promising step towards further collaboration, according to AFP.

The agreement details that both companies plan to “study the existing opportunities to develop the hydrocarbon resources in the Ahmet basin and the Gourara basin” in southern Algeria, a statement from Sontrach revealed.

READ: Algeria: Louisa Hanoune runs for president

The Algeria-US collaboration would open up “new development prospects for the Algerian mining sector” and attempt to “establish responsible and sustainable exploitation of natural resources”, Sontrach’s chief executive said.

However, many Algerians oppose the extraction method of fracking as it would pose an immediate threat to the country’s groundwater.

As climate change is rapidly accelerating toward human extinction, climate activist and defence group, Greenpeace repeatedly stresses the vitality of renewable energy.

The signed agreement between the two nations allegedly promises that studies will focus on “operational excellence, technological innovation and environmental respect.”

However, neither company gave figures for the scale of the investment or for the potential reserves in the two basins.

Energy expert and President of the North Africa Risk Consulting group, Geoff Porter stated that the collaboration between Algeria and US is “a very positive sign for Algeria”.

The agreement “shows that [foreign] energy companies are seriously looking at Algeria’s potential as a guarantor of European energy security,” he added.

Europe already heavily relies on Algeria for gas exports as Russia’s war in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war have led to disturbances in the energy distribution chain.




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