In Salah Rocket Attack – Perimeter Security Failure

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Terrorists have attacked this month the secure BP-Statoil operated In Salah gas facility in Algeria. The attackers fired rockets and RPGs, according to Statoil, Norway’s national oil company.

In Salah is run in cooperation between Britain’s BP, Norway’s Statoil, and Algeria’s own oil and gas company Sonatrach. Both BP and Statoil have now announced they will temporarily withdraw a portion of their workers from two facilities in Algeria following the 18 March attacks.

“BP has decided to undertake a phased temporary relocation of all its staff from the In Salah Gas and In Amenas JVs in Algeria over the next two weeks. This decision has been taken as a precautionary measure,” BP said in a statement.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the organisation’s most feared branch, took responsibility for the attack and threatened Western companies and the Algerian government. No significant damage was caused in this attack and no loss of lives was reported.

In a previous attack in 2013 on the In Amenas facility some 40 oil workers perished. As a result, Algeria’s military has increased security around the country’s critical infrastructure facilities. This likely contributed to the diminished effectiveness of this attack, however was not enough to prevent it entirely.

While production has started up again at both facilities, BP and Statoil are eager to protect the lives of their personnel. “BP’s first priority is the safety and security of people,” the company said. In order to achieve this security, Algeria’s security forces and the companies will have to bolster the perimeter security of these facilities even further.

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