ALGIERS, Algeria, June 2 (UPI) -- The Algerian government views shale oil and natural gas as a way to add diversity to its energy sector, Algerian Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi said.
Yousfi met with visiting U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in Algiers to discuss energy developments in the country, more than a year after terrorists stormed the In Amenas gas facility in the country's eastern desert.
"Algeria is currently evaluating the potential for shale oil and gas, attempting to determine the quality of the rock while studying all potential environmental impact," he said Sunday. "It is absolutely vital for us to use all possible resources to achieve energy security."
Moniz, for his part, said U.S. companies experiencing success in the shale sector were interested in tapping into the Algerian energy market.
Algeria has the tenth-largest natural gas deposits in the world and is the third-largest gas supplier to Europe. Its exports have been in decline, however, because of lagging foreign investments.
In January, the Algerian government called on oil and natural gas companies to prepare for an August auction for exploration and exploitation of natural resources in the country.