The In Aménas gas facilities in Algeria operated by the Joint Venture partners Sonatrach, BP and Statoil, initiated a limited production start-up on Friday 22, Statoil said in a statement.
Production from the plant’s train 1 was started-up following a detailed review of technical integrity, security, and other conditions, and after the partners had concluded that the criteria required to ensure a safe restart of train 1 had been met. The remaining two production trains were damaged during the terror attack, and will not be put on stream until it is safe to do so.
The physical inspection of train 1 was conducted by Sonatrach on behalf of the Joint Venture, and the documentation has been fully reviewed by both Statoil and BP.
“The Joint Venture has initiated a limited production start-up at In Amenas. We thank Sonatrach for the work they have done and continue to do on behalf of the Joint Venture, during this difficult time for everyone involved”, says Lars Christian Bacher, executive vice president for Development and Production International in Statoil.
During the production start-up phase, the facilities will be operated by Sonatrach on behalf of the Joint Venture. Statoil and BP staff will not yet be redeployed but technical specialists will provide support when needed, in line with strict security procedures established for short-term visits.
Statoil is currently in a close dialogue with Algerian authorities, Sonatrach and BP about the necessary conditions for full production and a redeployment of staff.
“The safety and security of our people is our utmost priority. We will take whatever time needed to conduct all required assessments and reviews and take all necessary precautions before we consider a re-entry of Statoil personnel,” says Bacher.
Coinciding with production start-up, Sonatrach will hold a commemoration ceremony at the In Amenas facilities Sunday 24 February in connection with the Algerian Day of Nationalisation of Hydrocarbons. A memorial monument with the names of the victims of the terror attack will also be unveiled.
LNG World News Staff, February 24, 2013; Image: Statoil