Algeria's Sonatrach plans $40 billion in investment over five years

The logo of the state energy company Sonatrach is pictured at the headquarters in Algiers, Algeria. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algerian state oil and gas firm Sonatrach plans to invest $40 billion, 51% of it in the local dinar currency, over the next five years to develop existing fields, CEO Toufik Hakkar said on Thursday.

Sonatrach also expects higher output and sales in 2021 as it aims to start production from new fields, Hakkar said in a letter to employees, without giving figures.

The dinar spending includes projects that will be awarded to national companies “in order to allow the country to save considerable funds in hard currency”, he said.

OPEC member Algeria has been under financial pressure after a fall in energy export revenues which account for 60% of the state budget and 94% of total sales abroad.

The government has ordered Sonatrach to cut planned spending for this year by 50% to $7 billion after the coronavirus pandemic caused a fall in global oil prices.

Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Nick Macfie