British BP and Norwegian Statoil launched production today at their massive Southern Fields dry gas project in Algeria, with a planned output of 9 billion cubic meters per year.
The project is run by the In Salah Gas joint venture among BP, Statoil and Algeria’s state-run Sonatrach.
The Southern Fields projects covers found dry gas fields--Gour Mahmoud, In Salah, Garet el Befinat and Hassi Mourmene—and includes plans to drill 26 wells through 2018. Drilling began in 2014, and first production is now ready to come online.
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The partners plan to ramp up to 14.1 million cubic meters per day as they bring additional wells online over the next two months.
Commenting on the start-up in a press release, Hesham Mekawi, BP North Africa Regional President said: “The safe start–up of Southern Fields is an important example of the strength and quality of the longstanding partnership between Sonatrach, BP and Statoil and is evidence of BP’s continued commitment to invest in Algeria. I am pleased to congratulate the team at In Salah Gas on this significant achievement that will sustain production for years to come.”
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The project includes a total of seven gas fields, and these latest four coming online represent the final development stage. In 2004, production started from the first three fields—Krechba, Teguentour and Reg.
The partners are also planning to build a new gas dehydration processing facility close to the Hassi Moumene field, which will be able to handle 500 mmscf per day. And the development plans don’t stop there. Also in the works are plans for 150 kilometers of export pipeline.
This will be new gas for Europe, which already meets approximately 13 percent of its gas needs from Algeria.
By James Burgess of Oilprice.com
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