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Algerian Crude Exports Reach Record-High In October

Algeria’s state-held oil company Sonatrach exported an all-time high volume of crude oil in October, Reuters reported on Tuesday, quoting a senior company official.

Last month Sonatrach exported 2.77 million tons of oil equivalent, the official said, adding that the company’s oil production has risen by 8 percent so far in 2016.

New export destinations for Algeria last month were Cuba and Australia, according to the source.

In September, Algeria was preparing to send to Cuba in October crude oil for the first time, a cargo of some 515,000 barrels, as Cuba is trying to offset declining Venezuelan imports with other sources of supply. The low crude oil prices have badly battered Venezuela’s oil production and state-run company PDVSA, which has just avoided a default (for now).

The low crude prices have not spared either Venezuela or Algeria, both members of OPEC.

Algeria – the leading natural gas producer in Africa and one of the top three oil producers in Africa – has suffered from the lower-for-longer prices, and is one of those ‘smaller’ OPEC producers that need an output freeze/cut deal and higher oil prices.

Algeria saw its total crude oil production in October edge up to 1.088 million bpd, from 1.086 million bpd in September, OPEC’s latest official figures showed.

Algeria is planning on raising its oil production by 30 percent by 2020 in an attempt to offset the low prices.

As early as in May of this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that Algeria’s economic growth – at 3.9 percent last year - is expected to slow down as the economy is adapting to the lower prices. The IMF reckons that the country needs to diversify its economy away from oil and gas, implement reforms, and reshape its growth model so it can overcome the low oil price challenge.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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