Having ended transport fuel imports through a swaps deal, Sonatrach has bought an Italian refinery and is targeting overseas petchems.

Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour has adopted a pragmatic approach to Sonatrach’s downstream strategy since taking over as CEO in early 2017.

He rapidly canned three of four planned new refineries and in August opined that the ongoing, and massively delayed, expansion of the modest Algiers plant “should never have happened.” Instead he has secured...