Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has warned of economic and social disaster in case of heavy decline in oil prices. He made this comment in a speech addressed to officials at Tlemcen University. According to Al Khabar daily, Bouteflika has explained to the audience that Algeria is living a comfortable situation following the oil prices parade, yet, “any drop would certainly drive us to a plight, which would require rolling up sleeves,” he added.
It should be noted that the hydrocarbons sector is the backbone of the Algerian economy with 25% of gross domestic product [GDP] and over 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the fifth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the second largest gas exporter.
During the first eight months of 2008, oil and gas exports, totalling US$53.09 billion, accounted for 97% of total sales abroad.