BP and Statoil are in no hurry to restart production at In Amenas, contradicting Sonatrach statements that one of the 9bcm/year plant’s three trains is set for imminent start-up and that foreign workers are about to return. BP CEO Robert Dudley, speaking on a 5 February conference call marking the release of the company’s 2012 results said that “we do remain committed to Algeria… [In Amenas] was a good return project for us.” But Mr Dudley repeated BP’s ‘safety first’ mantra of the past two weeks: “We are going to be very, very careful. We’re going to work closely with Sonatrach and the government along with Statoil and our contractors to make sure conditions are right from when we go back to work in Algeria,” he said.

This implies that at least from BP’s perspective a re-start at In Amenas, and the return of expatriate staff, is some way off. This message was echoed by Statoil President Helge Lund. Speaking on 7 February Mr Lund said that “Statoil will conduct an investigation to determine the relevant chain of events before, during and after the In Amenas terror attack in order to enable Statoil to further improve within the areas of security, risk-assessment and emergency preparedness.” Going forward Statoil notes that “the recent terror attack implies uncertainties related to production from In Amenas.” Algeria’s oil minister Yousef Yousfi says that Algeria is “beefing up security” at all of the country’s hydrocarbons installations, “particularly those in the south.” (CONTINUED - 897 WORDS)