Algeria: Energy law to be amended by 2019

Algeria’s Energy Minister, H.E. Mustapha Guitouni has announced that amended energy laws would be ready by January or February 2019.

The amendment of the hydrocarbons law aims to create an environment that is attractive to foreign investors and accommodating of the changing oil price.

“Many oil-producing countries have adapted their laws and reformulated them in line with the changes of oil prices,” said H.E. Mustapha Guitouni during a plenary session of parliament. “It is no longer possible to continue working with an applied law with the oil price per barrel at $140, while it is currently $70 right now. We cannot remain frozen like this.”

While making the announcement, the minister also noted that failings in the current hydrocarbons law are a factor in Algeria’s inability to attract international operators in the country’s bidding rounds.

A member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Algeria is working with U.S. law firm Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP and other consultancies to create the hydrocarbons law, which has been in the reviewing process since 2006.

Algeria’s economy relies heavily on its energy exports, with 35 percent of its GDP coming from its oil and gas sector. The new hydrocarbons law is expected to have great impacts on the growth of the sector and the country’s overall economy.