BP and Statoil said Monday that they will withdraw staff from two joint venture gas facilities in Algeria after an Al Qaeda attack last week.

BP told Reuters that it will undertake a “phased temporary relocation” of all its staff from the In Salah Gas and In Amenas joint ventures over the next two weeks following an explosives attack on the In Salah Gas site.

Statoil told the news wire that it will also withdraw its workers from the joint venture facilities and will withdraw its staff from the Hassi Messaoud operations center “over the next few weeks.”

The In Salah Gas and In Amenas joint ventures are operated by Algeria’s Sonatrach.

Statoil said that the In Salah Gas facility was attacked at around 6:00 a.m. local time on Friday.

The company said preliminary information indicates that three strikes were carried out using a vehicle and a “mobile weapon firing explosives.”

The attackers left the area before they could be apprehended.

Al Qaeda’s North Africa branch has claimed responsibility for the attack, Reuters said.

There were just over 600 employees at the plant at the time of the attack, with three of the employees being from Statoil.

No injuries were reported from either Statoil or BP.

The Algerian military reportedly has the area under control, Statoil said. 

A Statoil spokesman told Reuters that production at the plants has restarted.

The latest terrorist assault comes just about three years after forty people died when an Al Qaeda affiliate group launched a  four day siege  at In Amenas gas facility in January 2013.


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