In Amenas update — 19.30 on January 20

January 20, 2013, 20:39 CET
The situation remains unresolved for five Statoil employees. Twelve of the 17 who were present when the attack started have returned home to their families — in Algeria, Canada and Norway.

“The situation is still unresolved for five of our employees. Yesterday I expressed deep and increasing concern for the five who are unaccounted for. We know that there are many fatalities. A new day without answers has increased our concern and we are doing everything we can to find our five colleagues,” said Helge Lund.

Extensive search and investigation work is being carried out, led by Algerian authorities with support from international actors, and Norwegians are also directly involved.

At the large In Amenas facility thorough searches are being carried out. In addition, searches are being carried out in the surrounding desert areas. Systematic searches are also being carried out at all hospitals and medical centres in Algiers, at In Amenas, and other towns and villages.

“Statoil is employing all channels to find our five employees and others who have been involved in the tragedy,” said Lund.

This includes assistance to Norwegian authorities and police, cooperation with Algerian authorities, the oil company Sonatrach, BP, British authorities, International SOS and a large number of others.

The government is still working through the diplomatic channels of a number of countries. His Majesty the King has today expressed his support to everyone affected, their families and everyone who works in Statoil.

“The way in which the Prime Minister, the rest of the government, Norwegian authorities and supporting organisations have mobilised is of enormous significance. I would also like to thank the Algerian oil minister and CEO Bob Dudley of BP for the support we have received. I would like to express gratitude for the help and support we are receiving from many quarters. The support and sympathy is heart-warming,” said Lund.

On the ground in Algeria, in the emergency preparedness centre in Stavanger, with the families and in the rest of the organisation, many hundreds of employees are working to help their colleagues and their families.

“In this critical situation we also see the best of the employees in Statoil. Everyone is standing together, showing compassion and being available for one another. We will need to continue this in the times to come — because they will be hard. I am proud of the job they are doing,” said Lund.