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

In Amenas, the largest wet gas joint development project in Algeria, is located approximately 850km 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 May 27 followed by a period of final commissioning and testing.

This is a significant milestone for BP and reinforces Algeria’s position as a major producer of gas and exporter, said Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP’s exploration and production arm.

Production will build over the next two months to approximately 9 billion cubic meters a year of gas and some 50-60,000 barrels per day of liquids, the company said in a statement.