In Amenas: Search Continues for Statoil and BP Staff
by Jon Mainwaring
|Sunday, January 20, 2013
Statoil reported Sunday afternoon (UK time) that an "extensive search mission" is continuing for five of its employees who remain missing after the In Amenas gas plant hostage crisis, which began on Wednesday with Islamist militants taking prisoner dozens of foreign personnel, as well as Algerian workers. BP said in a statement on Saturday that four of its personnel are still missing.
While the crisis was confirmed as "over" by UK Prime Minister David Cameron in a televised statement Sunday morning, Mr Cameron also confirmed that three UK citizens had died as a result of it while another three are "believed to be dead".
In its statement, Statoil said that it is using all of its channels in order to gather information on the five employees who are unaccounted for. The firm is working with Norwegian authorities and police, as cooperating with the Algerian authorities, the UK authorities and its partners at In Amenas, BP and Sonatrach (the Algerian state oil company).
Statoil added that an initial search has been conducted at the In Amenas facility and a more thorough search is currently being carried out.
In a press conference late on Saturday BP CEO Bob Dudley stated that of 18 people directly employed by BP, 14 have been confirmed as safe and secure.
"However, so far neither the authorities on the ground, international governments nor BP have been able to confirm the location or situation of four of our people," Dudley said. "As the situation continually changes, we are doing all we can to locate them, working with the relevant British and Algerian government authorities and agencies. While not confirmed, tragically, we have grave fears that we are likely to have suffered one or more fatalities.
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