VENTURES AFRICA – Petrofac halted activities at the In Salah gas compression project, Algeria’s Echorouk Online Newspaper reported on Tuesday morning.
The global oil and gas provider said this followed the departure of 300 of its workers from Algeria after terrorists assaulted the natural-gas plant in the south.
In 2011, Petrofac was awarded $1.2 billion lump-sum engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by In Salah Gas (ISG), an association between Sonatrach, BP and Statoil, to develop southern fields in the In Salah development.
Echorouk reported the scope of the contract included a new central production and gas gathering facility at In Salah comprising two dehydration trains, with the capacity to produce approximately 16.8 million cubic metres of gas per day, associated permanent camps, and approximately 300km of pipelines for gas collection from the in-field wells and export to the existing Krechba facility.
It cited a senior official in oil industry sector as saying most of foreign oil companies operating in the south had asked the government to step up security measures around gas fields.
Western companies like Schlumberger, Total and even Halliburton reportedly seized the opportunity of the attack to put pressure on Algeria to benefit from changes to its operation conditions in the south. That would cause more expenses to Sonatrach, the same source told Echorouk.
Western oil companies talked about “danger in Algeria” and pushed insurance institutions in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Boston to oblige Algeria to insure direct military protection of oil sites in the south, Echorouk reported.
“Those western companies are now speaking about pre and post-In Amenas Attack when they evoke Algerian hydrocarbons sector,” the industry official said.