Algerian authorities carried out a military operation today against the hostage takers at the In Amenas plant. Statoil confirmed yesterday that five of its 17 employees were safe. Today an additional three Algerian employees are also confirmed to be safe.Five of the 17 Statoil employees involved in the hostage situation at the In Amenas gas facility have been safe since yesterday. They are now on their way to Norway.
In addition, Statoil and BP have decided to bring non-critical personnel from our two other plants in Algeria – In Salah and Hassi Mouina – out of the area and home again. At least three planes will likely be utilised for this purpose, and it is believed that around 40 Statoil employees will be onboard the first three planes.
The planes were scheduled to depart from In Salah earlier this evening. All of the planes will travel to London, and the Statoil employees will thereafter fly from London to Bergen.
“The whole of Statoil is strongly affected by the situation in In Amenas. The situation is still unresolved, uncertain and very serious. In an unresolved situation it is important for us to be hands-on with those who are most affected,” says Statoil CEO Helge Lund.
“We cannot currently confirm what the situation is for the remaining nine Norwegians who are involved in the situation,” says Lund.
Statoil is now working together with the Norwegian government and BP in order to ensure access to appropriate medical personnel for the hostages and an effective evacuation.
Norwegian authorities have informed Statoil that they have sent a plane with medical expertise in order to assist in the situation. The work surrounding the mobilisation of additional Norwegian and other capacities is ongoing.
A crisis team has been established at Statoil’s centre for family members in Bergen, where health personnel are also available.
“I was in contact with several of the relatives earlier in the day today. We are making all of our resources available to the relatives, and we are doing what we can to keep them updated. I am traveling over to Bergen later this evening to meet the relatives at the centre for family members there,” says CEO Helge Lund.