The bloody assault at In Amenas is without precedent in the
industry in living memory, the chief executive of Norwegian state oil giant
Statoil also said.
Some 58 workers comprising 37 foreigners are now thought to
have been killed following the storming of the gas plant early on Wednesday
morning which led to a days-long hostage crisis, brought to an end on Saturday
amid considerable bloodshed.
In Amenas is jointly operated by Statoil, UK supermajor BP
and state oil company Sonatrach, with the Norwegian major reporting that five
of its 17 staff who were at the site at the time remain missing and are feared
Addressing a large gathering in Stavanger on Monday,
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said: “The crisis in Algeria is the
worst attack on Norwegian commercial interests outside of Norway.”
He continued: “It is a threat to global energy security,”
which, amongst other reasons, necessitated a collaborative international effort
to confront terrorist groups.
“This time is was Algeria; the next time the terrorists may
strike Norway or some other country.”
Addressing the same gathering, Statoil chief executive Helge
Lund spoke of a “difficult and demanding time” for the oil major.
“The attack at In Amenas is terrorism of the worst kind,” he
said, also branding it “the worst attack on Statoil and the whole oil & gas
industry in living memory”.
Statoil and other companies await confirmation on the fate
of employees as yet unaccounted for. Algeria’s Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal
said on Monday that 37 foreigners died in the incident while 29 militants had
been killed and three taken into custody. One Canadian national was amongst the
militants who also hailed variously from Algeria, Mali, Niger, Mauritania, Egypt