The state-owned Algerian oil company Sonatrach has delayed making a decision on a $3bn Galsi pipeline that would transport natural gas from the North African state to northern Italy.

Sonatrach was supposed to decide the fate of the stalled scheme in November 2012, but has said it will now wait until May 2013.

Media reports in Algeria have stated that continued delaying tactics employed by the Italian government are behind the lack of progress on the scheme.

The scope of the project would be to construct an 800-kilometre pipeline to provide almost 770 million cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas to mainland Italy through Sardinia.