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    In the region of Touggourt the work on the extension of the railway track is finished.

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In the region of Touggourt the work on the extension of the railway track is finished. The work has been necessary to lay a rail track from Biskra (Algeria) to Touggourt, necessitating the changing of 380,000 sleepers at the rate of 1 km 500 per day.

    All this activity is happening in an area which has become know in to Frenchmen as "Little Texas". For it is all part of the grand plan for the opening-up of the oil wealth of French Algeria.

    In parallel with the railway the oil pipeline is under construction in the section from Hassi Messaoud to Touggourt at the rate of 3 Km a day. This pipe-line is six inches in diameter and will be 170 km long.

    The workers and engineers labour in great heat and complete 250 weldings in the course of a ten-hour day. One has an opportunity of seeing the Musulman seize the opportunity to take a rest. On another site a trenching machine is at work while a scraping machine is levelling the ground.

    At the other end, in the part of Philippeville construction of storage tanks is going ahead rapidly. Of five reservoirs, two are near to completion (capacity 5,750 cubic meters) and the supply pipe-line - 12 inches - is finished and lies along the port jetty.

    So the dream of Saharan riches is slowly but surely becoming reality. Already some 600 tons a day of crude oil are being pumped across the sand dunes to the coast. Not a great deal by, say, Middle East standards. But a portent for the future.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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