BP Announces First Gas from In Amenas

BP reports that the In Amenas gas project, a joint development with Sonatrach, the Algerian state energy company, and Statoil of Norway has commenced gas production.

In Amenas, the largest wet gas joint development project in Algeria, is located approximately 850 kilometers south of Hassi Messaoud, in the south-east of the country. The project includes development of four primary gas fields plus gas gathering and processing facilities. The first of three production trains was started on May 27 followed by a period of final commissioning and testing.

"This is a significant milestone for BP and reinforces Algeria's position as a major producer of gas and exporter," said Tony Hayward, chief executive, BP Exploration and Production.

Production will build over the next two months to approximately 9 billion cubic meters a year of gas (25 million cubic meters/870 million cubic feet per day) and some 50-60,000 barrels per day of liquids.

Partners in In Amenas are BP, Statoil and Sonatrach. The project is operated by a Joint Operating Body, comprising all three partners.

In 1998, BP entered into a production-sharing contract (PSC) with Sonatrach for the In Amenas license. In 2003, BP sold 50 per cent of its initial interest in the project to Statoil.

In April 2005, BP was awarded three blocks in Algeria's sixth international licensing round. Two of the blocks, South East Illizi and Bourarhat, are located in the Illizi basin close to In Amenas. The third block at Hassi Matmat in the Benoud basin lies some 160 kilometers northeast of the giant Hassi R'Mel gas condensate field. An exploration program consisting of seismic and wells will be conducted on each of the blocks.

Sonatrach subsidiary ENAFOR has drilled 12 development wells for the In Amenas project. The principal EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor, JGC/KBR, a joint venture between the Japanese Gas Corporation of Yokahama, Japan, and Kellogg, Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton of Dallas, USA, was responsible for the gas treating facilities, export pipelines from the gas fields to the tie in point of Ohanet and infrastructure. LEAD (a Syrian company) was responsible for constructing the intrafield pipelines, totalling 100 kilometers of pipe ranging from 24-inch to 10-inch diameter.


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