January 26, 2012 / 10:58 AM / 8 years ago

Algeria says no plan to offset drop in Iran oil exports

ALGIERS, Jan 26 (Reuters) - OPEC member Algeria has no plans to increase its oil exports to compensate for any fall in Iranian exports stemming from tighter U.S. and European sanctions, its energy minister said on Thursday.

Asked if Algeria would help off-set a drop in Iranian exports, Youcef Yousfi said in parliament: “We have a programme with regard to oil exports. This programme will not change.”

Referring to the impact on crude of the euro zone debt crisis, he said: “Oil prices will remain as they are and I hope they will not fall because of the financial crisis.”

The minister also said that the Arzew oil refinery, in the west of the country, would re-open in February following maintenance and improvement works. He said the work would increase the plant’s production capacity by 50 percent. (Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Jason Neely)

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