July 26, 2014 / 12:01 PM / in 3 years

UPDATE 1-Algerian state energy company Sonatrach replaces CEO - source

(Adds details on CEO, background)

ALGIERS, July 26 (Reuters) - Algeria’s state energy company Sonatrach has replaced its chief Abdelhamid Zerguine with vice president for production Said Sahnoun, a senior Sonatrach source told Reuters on Saturday.

The source, who asked not to be identified, gave no details, but Sonatrach is under pressure to increase stagnating energy output in the North African OPEC oil producer, which is also a major supplier of gas to European markets.

Zerguine, a former Sonatrach vice president for pipelines and head of a Sonatrach unit in Switzerland, was appointed chief of the company in November 2011.

Later this year, Algeria will hold a new energy bidding round seen as essential to attracting foreign oil producers into its sector and help offset a drop-off in production.

The Algerian state firm has been hit in recent years by corruption allegations, and struggled to operate within the country’s ageing infrastructure and to persuade foreign partners to take part in its most recent bidding rounds. (Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; writing by Patrick Markey, editing by John Stonestreet)

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