More than tree years after a militants linked to al-Qaeda attacked Algeria’s In Amenas gas plant, it started test production at its third train, and will soon be back running at full capacity, a source from the state energy firm Sonatrach said, Reuters reported.
“In the third week of June the plant will come back to full production at 9 bcm per year,” a top Sonatrach source told reuters affirming that test production has been launched successfully and the official opening is expected shortly. Re-operating In Amenas by late June would be the first time for the gas plant to run at full capacity since the 2013 attack that killed 40 oil workers and hit output.
According to Rigzone, BP, Statoil and Algerian state-owned oil company, Sonatrach, have been in charge of operating the plant. However, BP and statoil withdrew their manpower after a rocket attack in march 2013 has taken place, leaving the plant management for Sonatrach to take over.
European Union officials and industry representatives urged Algeria during the business forum held in Algiers to adapt to more competitive markets and attract the investment needed to pump more gas north again after years of sliding exports. Being the fifth largest supplier to Europe, the North African country is seen as a natural source of gas supplies for the European Union after the Ukraine conflict underlined the risks of relying too much on the bloc’s top gas supplier, Russia.