Algeria Re-Elects President to Fourth Term. Energy Sector Growing.
The election of Bouteflika, 77 and recovering from a stroke in 2013, has caused protests throughout the North Africa country and member of OPEC. Many object to a new constitutional amendment that allowed one more presidential term for the leader who has been in office since 1999. Others question his ability to govern, given his history of health problems.
Algeria is a significant natural gas exporter to Europe. According the US Dept. of Energy, "Algeria exported 1.2 Tcf of natural gas via pipelines in 2011, accounting for almost 70 percent of total natural gas exports. Italy was the single largest recipient of Algerian pipeline exports (62 percent), with the remainder of exports to Europe going to Spain (27 percent), Portugal (6 percent), and Slovenia (1 percent)."
With the Ukraine crisis over energy threatening European natural gas supplies from Russia, EU energy officials have been looking for other sources of natural gas. However, Algeria's exports have fallen, due in part because of rising domestic demand.
Algeria has also suffered hostile attacks on its distribution system. In January 2013 militants took over a natural gas plant at Amenas, a remote facility in the far eastern desert of Algeria. For more, read our Algeria and energy page.
Algeria - Stories, Links and Resources
Militant Leader of Algerian Gas Plant Attack Says He Is Behind Fatal Niger Bombings
NYTimes.com - 2013-05-25
Algeria army-backed oil security suffers biggest blow
Reuters - 2013-01-17
Limits of Algerian Cooperation Seen in Rescue Effort
NYTimes.com - 2013-01-17
Saudi Arabia to Lead $740 Billion Oil Spending Through 2017
Bloomberg - 2012-10-08
Global Resources News stories
Links for the search term: Algeria
Battle Map: Site of Tigatourine natural gas facility at In Amenas in Algerian desert
On Jan 16, 2013 militants seized a remote natural gas facility in Algeria's extraction and pipeline network. The next Algerian forces attempted to rescue hostages and retake the facility. Reportedly 30 of the 41 hostages died during the attempt.