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Foreign oil workers leave Algeria

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iol news pic 17 jan Algeria Kidnapping~2

AP

In Amenas, Algeria 20050419. File photo of the gas plant in Algeria where where 13 Norwegians are among 17 workers who are taken as hostages in an attack towards the plant early Wednesday morning, January 17th. HANDOUT Photo: Kjetil Alsvik / STATOIL / NTB scanpix

Madrid - Spanish and British oil companies are evacuating workers from Algerian energy facilities following the hostage-taking by Islamic militants in the Sahara desert and Algeria's attempt to free them.

Spain's Compania Espanola de Petroleos SA says it moved workers from two Algerian facilities to the center of the country as a precautionary measure and that its Algeria operations were functioning normally. Spain gets nearly half its natural gas from Algeria.

BP PLC says plans are under way to bring some non-essential workers out of Algeria.

The hostages were taken Wednesday by militants linked to Mali's rebel Islamists at a remote Sahara natural gas plant. The site is operated by BP, the Norwegian company Statoil and the Algerian state oil company Sonatrach. A Japanese company, JGC Corp, provides services for the facility. - Sapa-AP


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