OSLO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Security measures at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria were not designed to withstand a large scale militant attack and its operators, Statoil and BP may have relied too heavily on Algerian authorities, a Statoil investigation concluded.
"Neither Statoil nor the joint venture could have prevented the attack, but there is reason to question the extent of their reliance on Algerian military protection," the firm's own investigation concluded. "Neither of them conceived of a scenario where a large force of armed attackers reached the facility."
Islamist militants attacked a natural gas facility near In Amenas deep in the Sahara Desert in January, taking foreign workers hostages in a four day siege that ended only when Algerian forces stormed the plant.
Some 40 hostages, including five Norwegians, and 29 rebels were killed during the attack and the ensuing assault by Algerian forces, about 50 kilometres from the town of In Amenas, near the Libyan border.