Algeria’s state-owned energy company Sonatrach, has sacked its CEO Abdelhamid Zerguine and replaced him with Said Sahnoun, the Vice president for production.
“Zerguine was reported to be sacked by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika without any specific reason after a recommendation by the Energy Minister, Youcef Yousfi” company source said.
Until his appointment as chief in November 2011, the sacked chief was a former vice President for pipelines and head of a Sonatrach unit in Switzerland.
“Sonatrach is under pressure to increase falling energy output in Algeria which is also a major supplier of gas to European Markets,” a company source told Reuters.
Algeria produces 86.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year and 1.2 million barrels of oil per day.
Sonatrach has been hit by corruption allegation in recent years, largely related to the award of contracts. Its previous CEO, Mohamed Meziane, was placed under investigation in 2010 following allegations of wrong doing. This influenced the failure of a bidding round to lure investors into the country’s oil sector last year.
Algeria is expected to hold a new bidding round before the turn of 2015. New investment into the energy sector is expected to help offset a drop in national revenue. (VENTURES AFRICA)