In his address at the first International Conference on Renewable Energy and Energy & Food Security, Guitouni underlined that his sector aims at increasing oil and gas reserves through the intensification of exploration in the national mining field, which is “underexplored.”
Algeria has a significant level of conventional hydrocarbon resources, of which only a small part consists of proven recoverable reserves, he added.
All these resources would contribute to “ensuring energy security and diversifying energy mix,” said the minister, adding that this would have “positive impacts on the protection of environment, especially the mitigation of air pollution and greenhouse gases.”
Guitouni warned, however, that energy security “could not be achieved by focusing only on supply and neglecting demand management.”
The minister also stressed the need to assess the country’s unconventional hydrocarbon resources in order to define optimal conditions for their long-term sustainable use.
He added that energy security also “implies ensuring quality product and services for households and economic activities.”
To that end, Guitouni underlined the need to continue the development of processing, storage, transport and distribution facilities in order to meet present and future needs.
As regards water security, the minister said that drinking water needs in Algeria have significantly increased, exceeding population growth, due to the change in the way and quality of life, in addition to agricultural and industrial needs.
In this respect, he recalled that a major programme was launched in 2000, for the building of 13 seawater desalination plants, with the aim to produce 2.5 million cubic metres per day.
He added that, up to date, 11 desalination plants have been commissioned and have contributed to meeting 20% of population and agricultural needs.
As regards food security, Guitouni said that Algeria’s food trade balance shows that the country is largely dependent on imports, especially staple commodities like cereals and milk.