"The government has relinquished control over the offshore areas of our industry. Norway was tough regarding oil companies from the start. You now have an almost embarrassingly large pension fund. The situation for Irish communities, however, is as in Ogoniland in Nigeria - oil is a curse,”
OSLO, Norway — Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA said Wednesday it has spent about US$2 billion to develop Algerian gas fields, and plans to invest US$1.5 billion more depending on future natural gas finds in the North African country.
Future investments are contingent on gas finds in the Hassi Mouina block, an area covering 23,000 square kilometers (9,000 square miles) in western Algeria, Statoil spokesman Kai Nilsen said.
Statoil has a 75-percent share in that block, with Algeria's state-controlled Sonatrach owning the remaining 25 percent.
The Norwegian company already has a solid foothold in Algeria, after securing interests in two gas fields in the southern part of the country.
Statoil expects production to start at the In-Amenas field ''within weeks,'' while deliveries from the In-Salah field started in 2004, company spokesman Ola Morten Aanestad said.