April 23, 2019 / 7:54 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Algerian state energy company Sonatrach's CEO sacked -state TV

(Adds detail, background)

ALGIERS, April 23 (Reuters) - Algeria's interim president has sacked Abdelmoumene Ould Kaddour as CEO of state energy company Sonatrach, state TV reported on Tuesday.

Interim President Abdelkader Bensalah has appointed Sonatrach's head of production and exploration, Rachid Hachichi, to replace Kaddour, state TV added

Kaddour had been close to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who had put the U.S.-trained engineer in charge of overhauling Sonatrach in March 2017 after years of management upheaval, fraud scandals and red tape had deterred foreign investors.

The North African oil giant is an important source of energy for European states trying to reduce dependence on Russia and it also funds a large part of the Algeria's budget.

Kaddour managed to resolve a number of disputes with fellow oil majors, expanding ties with several companies.

In December 2017 Sonatrach and France's Total said they wanted to work on new projects after resolving earlier disputes. (Reporting by Lamine Chikhi and Hamid Ould Ahmed Editing by Ulf Laessing and David Goodman)

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