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Statoil Comments on In Amenas Hostage Situation

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"We are doing our utmost to ensure the safety of our employees and support their families," said Lars Christian Bacher, executive vice president for Development and Production International in Statoil.

"The hostage situation at In Amenas is one of the most serious incidents we have had in Statoil," added Bacher.

He added that the situation is unclear, complicated and very demanding.

Statoil was notified Wednesday at 0650 about the attack which developed into a hostage situation where also Statoil employees are involved.

"17 Statoil employees were in or around the facility Wednesday morning. 13 of these are Norwegian. We have received information that five of the 17 are brought to safety in a military camp in the area," he said.

Four of the five are Norwegians, and one is a Canadian resident. Two people are reported injured and have received medical treatment.

Fully mobilized

"We are continuously monitoring and working to resolve the situation. We are unfortunately unable to give further details about the situation, the ongoing response or the remaining 12 Statoil employees. This is with regards to the safety of those involved," said Bacher.

Statoil has been in contact with the families of those involved in the course of the day.

"This is a very difficult situation for those who have loved ones, friends and colleagues in the area. We are doing what we can to make sure they get the assistance and care they need and are informed about the situation, he said.

Next-of-kin center

A next-of-kin center has been set up in Bergen, where there is an offer to get consultation. Next-of-kin can contact the group by phone +47 800 83 003.

In Amenas is a wet gas field operated by a joint venture between Sonatrach, BP and Statoil. Statoil immediately mobilized its emergency response team when the news of the attack was received.

"We are cooperating well and have a good dialogue with Norwegian and Algerian authorities in what is an international situation," said Bacher.

Emergency levels are raised at Statoil's facilities in Algeria, and in certain other countries where Statoil are operating as a result of the situation at In Amenas.

Statoil has introduced travel restrictions and other relevant safety measures in the region.

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