Statoil confirms fifth Algeria death

Statoil confirmed on Thursday that it had lost a total of five employees in the In Amenas terrorist attack after the last remaining missing worker for the oil company was confirmed dead.

Victor Sneberg, the Norwegian company's country manager in Algeria, was confirmed dead by Statoil on Thursday afternoon.

The 56-year-old joins Tore Bech, Hans Bjone, Thomas Snekkevik and Alf Vik as the Statoil employees to have been killed in the tragedy at the Algerian gas facility which was attached by militant Islamists on 16 January leading to a days-long siege.

Statoil chief executive Helge Lund said: "Five friends and colleagues who were going about their work for Statoil will never return to their loved ones. They represented the very best of our company.

"Our thoughts and deepest compassion go first and foremost to the families, friends and colleagues who have lost those dear to them. Everyone in Statoil shares their grief. In the time ahead those most affected will need our support.”

Sneberg, who led Statoil’s activities in Algeria since 2010, was visiting In Amenas from his base in Algiers when the terrorists struck. He had been with Statoil since 1985, holding positions including head of Norwegian offshore personnel and production director at the Heidrun field.

Sneberg was married and has two grown children. His wife was also in Algeria when the attack took place, but has since flown back to Norway.

Around 37 foreigner workers and 10 Algerians were killed either in the initial assault on the plant or during the ensuing hostage crisis which was brought to a bloody end by Algerian forces on 19 January.

BP, which jointly operates the field along with Statoil and state oil company Sonatrach, has lost three employees with he fate of a fourth still unknown.

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