"One day after the attack at In Amenas, we are still faced with an unresolved and very serious situation. There is a hostage situation at the facility," says Statoil's CEO Helge Lund.
CEO Helge Lund at the press conference on Thursday morning, 17 January.
(Photo: Ivar Langvik/Statoil)
The In Amenas gas facility is a joint venture between Sonatrach, BP and Statoil.
"Since the initial report was received early yesterday, Statoil has taken the situation very seriously. All of our efforts are focused on bringing our employees home safe, as well as providing the support and assistance we can to their families and friends, colleagues and other employees in Statoil's organisation. We have mobilised every available resource we have and need from the organisation. At the same time, we are cooperating both with Norwegian and international authorities, as well as other companies affected by the incident," says Lund.
The situation is still unresolved, and no information has emerged during the night that would indicate any significant changes in relation to the situation reported by Statoil last night.
Seventeen Statoil employees were at or near the gas facility when the incident occurred
- We have confirmation that five employees are safe.
- Twelve Statoil employees are still involved in the on-going hostage situation.
- Statoil cannot provide confirmed information about how many people are involved in the action overall.
"As we can all understand, our colleagues at In Amenas are now in an extremely stressful situation. They are all experienced and respected Statoil employees, and most also have extensive experience in the region," says Lund.
Statoil is in close cooperation with all relevant authorities, and is focused on giving and receiving necessary information.
"Both through the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other channels, we are communicating one clear message: the most important thing now is the consideration for the safety of our employees and other companies' employees still caught up in the hostage situation," says Lund.
Statoil was in contact with the families throughout the day Wednesday, and will continue to stay in touch and provide as much information as possible, also today.
"Families, friends and colleagues are waiting for news about their loved ones. We are doing everything we can to assist and help all of them," says Lund.
Statoil has established an assistance centre for family members in Bergen. Information will be provided here, and emergency assistance will be offered in cooperation with the authorities and trained professionals. These same services have been offered to other families at other locations in Norway, and the organisation is also following up other families outside Norway.
CEO Helge Lund and executive vice president Lars Christian Bacher plan to travel to Bergen today to visit the centre and to speak directly with those who are most deeply affected.