Algerian state energy giant Sonatrach said on Saturday it plans to produce as much as 30 billion cubic meters of shale gas annually by 2020, official APS news agency reported.
The report, quoting a source with the firm, said the group has already confirmed the decision of future output expansion in early July.
Sonatrach plans to drill for shale gas in the basins of Ahnet and Illizi after being authorized by the government, it added.
In 2012, Sonatrach made the first shale gas drilling test in the field of Ahnet in the province of Tamenrasset, which gave the company more data on unconventional gas reserves in this basin.
Additionally, Algeria has six other shale gas basins, according to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Advanced Resources International.
The study concluded that Algeria ranks as the world's third largest nation in terms of recoverable shale gas reserves right after China and Argentina.
The company's plan for 2014 comprises the drilling of 117 wells, including four for research and exploration of shale gas, APS said.
Sonatrach aims to enlarge the country's proven oil and gas reserves by investing some 102 billion dollars over the next four years, 60 percent of which will primarily be used for research and production of hydrocarbons.