In the next five years BP plans to invest $2bn in the oil and gas projects it operates in Algeria, the head of the company’s Algerian unit told Reuters.

The investments will include drilling three new exploration wells at a gas field and maintaining production at two large gas fields that BP jointly operates.

The oil major also plans the world’s first industrial-scale project to capture and store carbon dioxide released from gas production.

“BP is still committed to invest in Algeria and, just in our existing projects, we plan to invest $2bn over the next five years,” Akli Brihi, head of BP Algeria, told Reuters in an interview.

The gas exported from the large In Salah and In Amenas gas fields – both of which BP operates jointly with Norway’s StatoilHydro and Algerian state company Sonatrach – is equivalent to a third of Algeria’s annual gas exports.

Brihi told Reuters that BP, in conjunction with StatoilHydro and Sonatrach, would deliver an $800m compression project at the In Salah field early next year. The company also plans to drill new production wells in the south of the block.

BP is conducting seismic studies and also plans to drill three new exploratory wells starting late this year on its Bourarhet exploration block to gauge the size of gas reserves.