Algeria has increased the scope of its refinery expansion plans to a 350,000 b/d hike by 2020. This week’s award of FEED contracts suggests progress is being made, but bureaucratic inertia and cash constraints remain.

In late 2013 Algeria’s Energy Ministry officially launched the first of what were to be four 5mn tons/year (108,000 b/d) refinery projects – ie 20mn t/y, the equivalent of two-thirds of current capacity – for start-up from 2017. By mid-2015 the plan had...