BHP Postpones Startup at ROD Project in Algeria

BHP has postponed the start-up for its ROD integrated development project in Algeria until mid-2004. "Following a detailed project review, first production is now scheduled for the middle of calendar year 2004, resulting from delays in procurement of some equipment and materials," according to BHP.

ROD is developing six satellite fields in the prolific Berkine Basin in eastern Algeria, with associated gas to be reinjected. The project will produce 80,000 bpd of Sahara Blend Crude. Thirty-six development wells will be required, 10 of which will be re-completions of already drilled wells. At the end of September 2003, 18 new development wells had been completed and the 19th was well advanced.

Procurement of major equipment is now complete. Erection of the piperack steelwork, tank farm construction, civil works at the Field Gathering Station (FGS) and Intermediate Field Manifolds, and the welding and tie in of pipelines are all well advanced. Over 2 million manhours have been completed at the construction site without a Lost Time Incident. Overall project progress is 67.5 percent complete.

BHP has a 36.04% stake in the project which is operated jointly with Sonatrach.