Foreign workers return to Algeria’s Krechba gas plant after March rocket attack

KRECHBA, Algeria (Reuters) – Some foreign workers have returned to Algeria’s Krechba gas plant after they were evacuated following a rocket attack in March, a senior plant manager said on Friday.

Benmaazou Slimane told Reuters the number of foreign staff at Krechba would be lower than the 340 that used to work there, and their security would be assured by the military.

The facility, the hub for an area that produces 9 billion cubic metres of gas per year, is operated by state oil company Sonatrach with BP and Statoil. Sonatrach says the plant has been operating since the attack.

Krechba’s managers say 25 new wells are planned around Krechba to maintain production at current levels.

Foreign workers previously represented 10 percent of staff at the site and Slimane said their number would be reduced because of high costs, adding it might be possible to give some of their positions to Algerians.

“We have agreed with our partners to reduce the number of expats as much as possible,” Slimane said on a tour of the site. “Most of the expats are working in engineering, the launching of new projects – mainly in technical profiles.”