A new discovery at Algeria's biggest gas field Hassi Rmel has an initial estimated capacity of between 100 Bcm and 340 Bcm of gas condensate, state energy firm Sonatrach said in a statement on June 27.

"A development works program is underway to confirm the estimated volumes and achieve fast-track production of around 10 MMcm/d starting from November 2022," Sonatrach added.

Algeria’s gas output last year reached a record 103 Bcm, with exports of 54 Bcm, according to Sonatrach figures.

Exports to Italy, which accounted for 21.2 Bcm last year, are expected to be gradually ramped up by another 9 Bcm a year after the two countries signed an agreement in April.

Algeria's role as a key gas supplier for Italy, Spain and other southern European countries has increased in importance this year after Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Europe's imposition of sanctions curbed Russian gas flows to Europe.

Increased demand for its energy has brought relief to Algerian public finances after years of declining oil sales that have slashed foreign currency reserves.