Algeria brought online a new gas processing plant on Monday but its energy minister indicated the resumption of full production from the In Amenas plant targeted in a deadly terror attack last year has been pushed back, according to reports.
Touil plant, with a total capacity of 3.6 billion cubic metres per year, has
now started production from 42 out of 52 planned wells, the official APS news
agency, citing an unnamed official at state-owned Sonatrach, was quoted as
saying by Reuters.
& Mines Minister Youcef Yousfi told government newspaper El Moudjahid the
third train at In Amenas “will be on stream in a few months”, without giving any further details of the
a senior adviser to Yousfi, stated last month the three-train facility was
producing 20 million cubic metres per day - around two thirds of its full
capacity of 30 MMcm - but said it would only be weeks before the plant was running
at full steam.
workers, all but one foreign, died at In Amenas in January 2013 after the
militants took expatriates hostage during a four-day siege that ended when
Algerian forces stormed the site.
The plant, operated
by a joint venture of BP, Statoil and Sonatrach, was producing 11.5% of Algeria’s
natural gas output before the attack.
BP and Statoil
since have withdrawn their staff from the Sahara desert complex, demanding
better security measures.
officials say they have met all the demands of foreign companies, but
contractors have yet to return to the plant.
said Algeria will also this year start up a new 6 Bcm-per-year liquefied
natural gas plant.
The Opec member
and gas producer earlier this year started production from another new LNG unit
at the eastern town of Skikda.
unit is expected to come online this year, with the same capacity," the
minister told APS.