* Algeria oil minister says plant could restart by Tuesday
* BP, Statoil have no information on state of site
* Gas exports to Italy, Spain unaffected on Monday
LONDON, Jan 21 It is not yet known when the
Algerian In Amenas gas complex will restart after a bloody siege
by Islamist fighters there ended on Sunday, operators BP
and Statoil said on Monday.
The field produces 9 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per
year, equal to around 11 percent of Algeria's yearly gas
production. The North African country is an important gas
supplier to Europe, most notably Italy and Spain which it
supplies via subsea pipelines.
Algeria's Oil Minister said during a visit to the site on
Sunday the plant could restart within two days as damage to the
installation was not very significant.
However, a spokesman for BP said the company, which owns 46
percent of the In Amenas joint venture, had no information about
the state of the site.
"There's no guidance on start up," he said, a comment also
given by a Statoil spokesman.
Gas exports from Algeria to Italy were above their 30-day
average on Monday, the Italian grid operator said, and traders
added Algerian gas flows to Spain were normal.
Algeria exported 34.4 bcm of gas in 2011, more than 60
percent of which was sent to Italy via pipelines, according to
The In Amenas site is located around 1,300 kilometres from
the capital Algiers and is jointly owned by BP, Statoil and
Algeria's national oil and gas company Sonatrach.
Sonatrach estimates it is losing around $11 million a day
due to the shutdown of the In Amenas plant, a company source
The death toll from the siege reached at least 80 after
troops stormed the complex to end the hostage crisis and the
raid has exposed the vulnerability of multinational-run oil and
gas installations in an important producing region.