Norwegian oil and gas giant Statoil has informed that its gas facility in Algeria was attacked on Friday morning.
The Norwegian firm, mostly known for its offshore operations, has said that its In Salah onshore gas facility was hit by “explosive munitions fired from a distance” at 6.00 local time. Reuters has learned that three or four rocket propelled grenades struck the facility. The facility is being run jointly by BP and Statoil.
“Statoil has been in touch with its three employees at Krechba. They are not injured and they are safe. Statoil is working on getting an overview of the situation, but has so far no information about anybody being injured during the attack,” Statoil said.
The company said it has mobilised its emergency response organisation in Stavanger.
This is not the first time a Statoil facility has been attacked in Algeria. On January 16, 2013 the In Amenas facility was the target of a terrorist attack. 40 people were killed, five of which were Statoil employees.
Update: Statoil’s statement issued later on Friday:
“After the attack on the In Salah Gas asset in Krechba in Algeria at 06.00 this morning, the situation at the plant is now calm. There are no reports of any injuries resulting from the attack.
Statoil is now following up the incident towards its own employees, licence partners and relevant authorities.
At approximately 06.00 this morning an attack was made against the Krechba plant. The information we have received indicates that the attack was carried out by use of a vehicle and a mobile weapon firing explosives at the plant. The attackers then left the area. Three strikes were identified at the plant.
The Algerian military reportedly has control of the area. Statoil’s emergency organisation has been demobilised, but the Joint Venture and the partners continue to monitor the situation in cooperation with relevant authorities.
There were a total of just above 600 employees at the plant, 3 of them from Statoil. None of the employees at the plant are injured, and the three Statoil employees are safe inside the plant. No evacuation from this plant or any other plants in Algeria has been planned.
Statoil’s top priority is the security of its employees. After the In Amenas attack in 2013, the security of plants in Algeria has been strongly improved, and ordinary operations were resumed during 2014.
Statoil will, in accordance with our procedures, carry out a review of the attack, and together with the partners consider, as part of the ordinary operations, the need for any further security measures at the plants in Algeria.”