Statoil starts probe into Algerian attack

Feb. 26, 2013 at 7:38 AM

STAVANGER, Norway, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil announced Tuesday it was starting an investigation into a terrorist attack on the In Amenas natural gas plant in Algeria.

Five employees of Statoil died in a January attack on the In Amenas gas complex in eastern Algeria. Militants sympathetic to al-Qaida launched the attack in response to an Algerian decision to let French forces use their airspace for an intervention in neighboring Mali.

Statoil board Chairman Svein Rennemo said the company would look into events before, during and after the attack to understand how to respond to such incidents.

"Our responsibility is to learn and do what we can to further strengthen the safety of our employees for the future," he said in a statement.

Many of the hostages and militants died following when Algerian authorities stormed the facility.

"It has been important for us to obtain external expertise on terrorism and security that will contribute to this work," Rennemo said.

Statoil announced recently that it restarted operations at In Amenas in a limited capacity. It's working there alongside state-owned energy company Sonatrach and British supermajor BP.

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