The development of Algeria’s shale gas resources is back on the agenda, according to a series of statements by government officials in recent weeks.

But if the government wants to improve its energy balance in the next decade or two, it cannot expect shale to be the answer.

In his 17 October speech to the Oil & Money conference, Sonatrach President Ould Kaddour said that the government “plan[s] shale gas” exploitation. On 1 October, Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia...