"For the immediate term, this means that the Algerian hydrocarbons sector will enter a holding pattern for the next month or so, possibly resuming meaningful activity at the beginning of March," he said.
But he agreed with the minister that "it is extremely unlikely that Algeria will witness a mass exodus of foreign oil companies."
Schemm reported from Rabat, Morocco. Associated Press writer Rukmini Callimachi in Segou, Mali, contributed to this report.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.