KBR to work at gas sites in Algeria hit by terror attacks in recent years

Algeria has the 10th-largest natural gas deposits in the world, but has made recent strides on the renewable energy front.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Oct. 2, 2017 at 8:50 AM
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Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Engineering company KBR said Monday it would support construction activity for gas operations in Algeria at two sites hit in terrorist attacks in recent years.

KBR, which has headquarters in Texas, said it was awarded a contract for management support services by a joint venture between British energy BP, Algerian energy company Sonatrach and Norwegian major Statoil.

"Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide detail design engineering, procurement services, as well as construction management at the major gas developments at In Salah Gas and In Amenas," the company stated Monday.

Algeria has the 10th-largest natural gas deposits in the world and is the third-largest supplier to Europe. Its exports have been in decline, however, because of lagging foreign investments. In Amenas has a production capacity of approximately 315 million cubic feet of natural gas per year. In Salah is the third largest natural gas field in the country, with production capacity relatively on par with In Amenas.

The In Salah gas facility was "hit by explosive munitions fired from a distance" in March 2016, according to Statoil. Its three employees in the area were safe and uninjured.

Terrorists sympathetic with al-Qaida, stormed the country's In Amenas natural gas facility in January 2013, leaving 38 civilians and 29 militants dead. Norwegian energy company Statoil and its partners suspended work at the facility along the Libyan border for more than a year following the attack.

In March, the European Union said it was offering $42.7 million in financial assistance to support energy reform in Algeria, which is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. A third of the funds allocated by the EU will support institutional and regulatory frameworks necessary to promote renewable energy.

General Electric in June sponsored a conference on renewable energy in the African sector, highlighting Algeria's lead in wind and solar power developments. By 2030, the government aims to install about 22,000 megawatts of renewable power, which would be about eight times the level of natural gas consumption by today's standards.

KBR offered no financial terms for the contract.

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