ALGIERS-OPEC member Algeria's oil and gas output is expected to grow 6.5 percent in 2018, after a 2.7 percent fall projected for this year, the energy ministry said in a document seen by Reuters. Algeria's economy relies heavily on oil and gas, which account for 60 percent of the state budget and 95 percent of total exports. The government expects earnings from energy exports to reach $33.6 billion in 2018, up from $32.3 billion for the end of this year, according to the document, outlining the sector's target for next year. In 2016, energy earnings were $27.7 billion. Overall economic growth will improve due to "the return of growth in the activity of the hydrocarbons sector and its weight in the national production," the ministry said in the document. Oil and gas output has stagnated over the past years due to delays in projects and a lack in foreign investment. The government hopes new fields will come online in 2018 to boost energy production, mainly gas. State finances have been hit since crude oil prices plunged in mid-2014, forcing the government to cut spending and freeze infrastructure projects. (Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Ulf Laessing and Mark Potter) ((;))