BP can't account for 4 employees in Algerian hostage crisis

20 January 2013 00:40  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--BP cannot account for four of the 18 employees who were at Algeria's In Amenas gas field when it was attacked by terrorists, the UK-based energy producer said on Saturday.

Although BP has no confirmation, the company fears that at least one of the four missing employees is dead, it said.

The remaining 14 employees are safe and secure, although two have sustained injuries, BP said.

“While the situation has evolved, it may still be some time before we have the clarity we all desire,” the company said.

Meanwhile, BP is bringing all non-essential personnel out of Algeria, the company said. BP had about 56 employees in Algeria at the time of the attack.

So far, more than 25 have left the country, the company said.

Militants attacked the In Amenas gas field on Wednesday, and 41 foreign nationals are believed to have been taken hostage at the site.

In Amenas is a joint venture made up of the Algerian state-owned oil firm Sonatrach, BP and Norway-based Statoil.

Statoil had 17 employees, of whom nine had been rescued, the company said. No new information was available about the eight other Statoil workers.

Like BP, Statoil is also bringing home non-essential personnel from Algeria.

The Algerian army carried out a final assault of the gas field, in which it killed most of the kidnappers, the New York Times reported, citing Algerian and British officials. However, at least six captured workers also died.

Altogether, 23 hostages and 32 kidnappers were killed since the crisis started, according to the New York Times, which based the figures on those taken from the Algerian government news service.

By: Al Greenwood
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