BP, Statoil to pull out staff from Algeria

download (1)OSLO/LONDON. — BP and Norway’s Statoil will withdraw staff from two gas plants in Algeria after an attack by militants on one of the sites in the North African country, the companies said yesterday.

Militants attacked the In Salah gas plant, operated by state-owned Sonatrach, with rockets on Friday, causing no casualties or damage. Al-Qaeda’s North Africa branch claimed responsibility for the attack.

Algeria’s energy infrastructure has been heavily protected by the army, especially since a 2013 attack on the In Amenas gas plant, also operated by BP and Statoil, during which 40 oil workers were killed.

“BP has decided to undertake a phased temporary relocation of all its staff from the In Salah Gas and In Amenas JVs in Algeria over the next two weeks. This decision has been taken as a precautionary measure,” the British firm said in a statement.

Statoil said it would also withdraw staff from the In Salah and In Amenas plants, together with staff from its operations centre at Hassi Messaoud.

“It will happen over the next few weeks. Those who are on rotation now will not be replaced when they finish their shifts,” a Statoil spokesman said. — Reuters.

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