British energy giant BP’s gas field in Algeria is the focus of an “ongoing” terrorist attack, the Foreign Office confirmed today.
Reports suggest eight people were kidnapped in the attack on the field located on the Algerian border with Libya in the early hours this morning, although this is unconfirmed.
The Amenas gas field is a joint venture between BP and Statoil and the Algerian state company Sonatrach.
Algerian authorities are engaged with the incident and UK authorities have also been advised.
The Foreign Office said it was aware of reports that British nationals are involved and is “urgently” looking into this.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “A terrorist incident is ongoing near the town of Ain Amenas at an oil installation near the Algerian border with Libya. The British Embassy in Algiers is aware of the incident and liaising with the local authorities.
“We are aware there are British Nationals working in the area. We cannot confirm at this stage whether any are involved in the incident. We are urgently seeking clarification from oil companies working in the area.”
BP itself has activated its emergency response system and set up a helpline for relatives, adding in a statement: “We can confirm that there has been a security incident this morning at the In Amenas gas field in the eastern central region of Algeria. The In Amenas field is operated by a joint venture of which BP is a member. We have no more confirmed details at this time. We will provide further updates.”