Statoil committed to Algeria

Dec. 3, 2013 at 7:39 AM
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STAVANGER, Norway, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Less than a year after a major terrorist attack, Norwegian energy company Statoil said it remains committed to working in the Algerian gas sector.

"We are committed to returning to Algeria," an unnamed Statoil spokesman told the Platts energy news service in an interview published Monday.

The company said it had 40 people deployed at an operational base a few hundred miles away from In Amenas. The spokesman said returning employees to In Amenas itself "will come at a later stage."

Employees with international and national energy companies working in Algeria, including five from Statoil, died in a January terrorist attack on the In Amenas gas complex in eastern Algeria.

Algeria has the 10th largest natural gas deposits in the world and is the third-largest supplier to Europe. Its exports have been in decline, however, because of lagging foreign investments. In Amenas has a production capacity of approximately 315 million cubic feet of natural gas per year, its operators said.

Algeria's state-run energy company Sonatrach operates the In Amenas facility with British energy company BP and Statoil.

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