RHOURDE EL BAGUEL, Algeria, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Algeria’s state-run energy firm Sonatrach will boost gas output by 10 million cubic metres per day at its giant Hassi Messaoud field and will then increase output by 6 mcm a day at nearby Rhourde el Baguel oil field, its chief executive said.

Sonatrach CEO Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, on a visit to the field, said Algeria could use boosting techniques to increase output at existing fields as the government looks to offset a fall in oil prices that has cut energy revenues.

“We know that the prices will be around $45 to $55 a barrel, but we have no influence on them,” Ould Kaddour said, referring to crude prices.

The Rhourde El Baguel field is located in Ouargla province, 600 km south of the capital Algiers.

The additional 16 million mcm per day will be for exports from Algeria, which is an OPEC member and a major supplier to European markets, Sonatrach officials told reporters.

Algeria’s energy earnings have fallen to $27.5 billion in 2016 from $60 billion in 2014.

The sharp fall in energy prices has prompted Sonatrach to become more flexible in dealing with foreign partners, and try to bring new projects online while also pushing to get more out of mature fields.

(Reporting By Lamine Chikhi; editing by Patrick Markey and Jane Merriman)

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