Location, situation of some Algeria employees “uncertain” – BP

18 January 2013 12:45  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--There are a number of BP employees at the besieged gas field at In Amenas, Algeria, whose location and situation remains “uncertain”, the UK-headquartered oil and gas company said on Friday.

In the company’s latest update on the ongoing crisis at the In Amenas site, which has been attacked and occupied by militants, BP said that the situation remains unclear, and that it continues to seek updates from the authorities in the UK and Algeria.

The company began the process of bringing non-essential workers out of Algeria as a temporary measure on Thursday night, BP added. 11 BP employees left the country during the night on three flights, one bound direct for London, UK, and two landing in Palma, Majorca, where passengers are expected to transfer on to their final destinations.

41 foreign nationals are believed to have been taken hostage at the site, including employees of BP and Norwegian oil and gas major Statoil.

Earlier on Friday, Norwegian oil major Statoil said that it had extracted 40 of its employees situated in the country, and flown them to Bergen, Norway.

In a speech about the issue on Friday, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said that the terrorist group is believed to have been operating under the instruction of Mokhtar Belmokhtar, formerly affiliated with Al Qaeda, who has been operating in Mali and Algeria for a number of years.

Cameron added that the Algerian government’s military response to the crisis had taken place without his prior knowledge.

He said: “We were not informed of [the mobilisation of Algerian forces] in advance.
I was told by the Algerian Prime Minister while it was taking place. He said that the terrorists had tried to flee, that they judged there to be an immediate threat to the lives of the hostages and had felt obliged to respond.”

The gas field is a joint venture between Statoil, BP and Algerian state-owned oil firm Sonatrach.

By: Tom Brown
+44 208 652 3214

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