First gas from In Amenas

June 23, 2006, 01:30 CEST

Statoil announced today that the In Amenas gas project, a joint development with Sonatrach, the Algerian state energy company, and BP has commenced gas production.

In Amenas, the largest wet gas joint development project in Algeria, is located approximately 850 kilometres south of Hassi Messaoud, in the south-east of the country. The project includes development of four primary gas fields plus gas gathering and processing facilities. The first of three production trains was started on 27 May, followed by a period of final commissioning and testing.

In Amenas is located in the south-eastern area of the Sahara desert, close to the border to Libya.

”This is a significant milestone for Statoil in Algeria. We are very pleased to take part in the strengthening of Algerian gas supply to the European market,"
says Ottar Rekdal, senior vice president of the international North Africa business cluster.

Production will build over the next two months to approximately nine billion cubic metres a year of gas (25 million m3/870 million cf per day) and some 50-60,000 barrels per day of liquids.

In 2003, Statoil acquired 50% of BP`s initial interest in the In Amenas project.

Sonatrach, BP and Statoil also jointly operate the gas field In Salah in the Sahara. Statoil has an interest of 31.85% in the field. In Salah came on stream in July 2004.

Statoil was also awarded the operatorship of the block Hassi Mouina, located close to the In Salah field, in July 2004. Statoil has an interest of 75% in the block and Sonatrach has 25%. Hassi Mouina covers an area of 23,000 square kilometres. Seismic surveys are underway, and exploration drilling is scheduled to start during this summer.