Algeria's minister of energy says the country could boost oil production to compensate for the dramatic drop in oil prices.

Youcef Yousfi told the parliament Thursday that Algeria was working on dozens of deposits and studying the possibility of boosting production to increase revenues.

Pumping more oil to maintain income for development projects has become necessary due to the 50 percent drop in the price of oil over the last six months, he added.

Algeria produces some 1.2 million barrels of oil a day, according to its OPEC quota.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said efforts to exploit abundant shale gas reserves were only in the experimental stage after widespread environmental protests.

Oil and gas make up 97 percent of the value of Algeria's exports but reserves are dwindling.