ALGIERS, Oct 10 (Reuters) - OPEC member Algeria’s first-half oil and gas export volumes dropped 3.6 percent from the previous six months, continuing a downward trend that started in 2017, the central bank said.
Oil and gas are the main source of income for the North African country, accounting for 60 percent of the budget and 94 percent of exports.
The central bank did not give reasons for the drop in exports but the energy ministry said after a first quarter decline that a decrease in production and a rise in domestic consumption had contributed to a 2.8 percent decline in oil and gas exports.
“The drop in the exported quantities of hydrocarbons, that started in the first half of 2017, continued,” the central bank said in its report.
Algeria has pledged to launch new projects and improve investment terms to attract foreign firms in an effort to increase energy output and exports.
Earnings from energy exports reached $19.32 billion in the first half of 2018, a 19.6 percent rise from a year earlier, due to a rebound in the price of crude oil global markets, the central bank said.
The energy ministry expects full-year output to grow 6.5 percent this year after a 2.7 percent fall in 2017.
Oil and gas export volumes reached 51.40 million tonnnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) in the first six months of 2018, down from 53.27 million in the second half of 2017 and 54.96 million in the previous half, the central bank’s report said.
The government has been preparing amendments to the energy law to introduce incentives for foreign investors. (Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)