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    Statoil, BP Start Up Production at In Salah Southern Fields



Statoil and BP have commenced at the In Salah southern fields in Algeria, each firm said in separate statements released on February 16

by: Erica Mills

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Corporate, Exploration & Production, News By Country, Algeria

Statoil, BP Start Up Production at In Salah Southern Fields

Statoil and BP have started operations at the In Salah southern fields in Algeria, they said February 16. The In Salah fields are owned by a joint venture of Sonatrach (35%), BP (33.15%) and Statoil (31.85%) 

The agreement between the three firms began in 2004 when Statoil farmed into the Sonatrach, BP joint venture. At that time, three northern fields -- Krechba, Teguentour and Reg -- started production.

The In Salah southern fields are the second phase of the In Salah Gas Project, covering a total area of 2,000km². In this phase, four fields have been developed: Gour Mahmoud, In Salah, Garet el Befinat and Hassi Moumene. The Southern Fields Project also involves building a processing facility, more than 300 km of pipelines and the drilling and tying-in of 26 wells.

According to the statements, the In Salah southern fields are estimated to have total recoverable resources of 159bn m3. The fields will maintain a production level of 9bn m³/yr with production aimed to ramp up to 14.1bn m3/yr as wells in the Hassi Moumene and Garet el Befinat field are brought on line in two months, according to BP. 

Statoil says its share of production from the southern fields will equal about 22,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe)/d in 2016, adding to its existing Algerian production of 50,000 boe/d.

"The In Salah Southern Fields project is one of several operations milestones for Statoil’s business in Algeria, all ramping up to an increase in equity production by 15-20% this year," its statement read. 

Both BP and Statoil hailed the start-up as an important addition to current production levels. 

"Algeria is an important country in Statoil’s portfolio," senior overseas upstream executive Lars Christian Bacher said. "Through the startup of In Salah Southern Fields we are capturing value from existing positions as part of the strategy to shape our next generation portfolio."

"The safe start-up of the 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," BP North Africa regional president Hesham Mekawi said. "I am pleased to congratulate the team at In Salah Gas on this significant achievement that will sustain production for years to come."

The gas produced from the northern fields is sold by In Salah Gas Limited, a company also jointly owned by Sonatrach, BP and Statoil. According to Statoil, the gas from southern fields will be sold under the same contracts as the northern fields. Of that, 4bn m³/yr go to Italy's Enel and Sonatrach takes the other 5bn m³/yr.

Drilling of the massive group of southern fields began in 2014. A total of 26 wells are planned and continue to be drilled. BP estimates that the drilling operations will continue until 2018.


Erica Mills