Algeria's In Amenas gas project starts up

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, June 23 -- BP PLC reported that the In Amenas natural gas project—a joint development with Algeria state-owned Sonatrach and Norway's Statoil ASA—has started production in southeastern Algeria.

In Amenas lies 850 km south of Hassi Messaoud. The project includes development of four primary gas fields plus gas-gathering and processing facilities. The first of three production trains started up on May 27 followed by a period of final commissioning and testing.

Production will build over the next several months to 9 billion cu m/year of gas and 50,000-60,000 b/d of liquids.

In 1998, BP entered into a production-sharing contract with Sonatrach for the In Amenas license. In 2003, BP sold 50% of its initial interest in the project to Statoil (OGJ, July 21, 2003, p. 37).

In April 2005, BP was awarded three blocks in Algeria's sixth international licensing round (OGJ, Apr. 25, 2005, p. 50). Two of the blocks, South East Illizi and Bourarhat, are in the Illizi basin close to In Amenas. The third block at Hassi Matmat in the Benoud basin lies 160 km northeast of giant Hassi R'Mel gas-condensate field. BP plans seismic surveys and exploratory drilling on each of the blocks.

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