Talisman, SNC say Canadian employees safe in Algeria
Two companies involved in oil and gas operations in Algeria say their Canadian employees there haven't been affected by the hostage crisis in the North African country.
Calgary-based Talisman Energy, which produces 12,000 barrels of oil a day in Algeria, has placed a temporary travel ban on all its employees and contractors from going to Algeria. Talisman spokeswoman Berta Gomez said the company currently has one representative in the capital city, Algiers.
"Ameras, where these sad events are taking place, is located approximately 400 kilometres southeast of Talisman’s operations," said Gomez in an email. She added that there had been no effect on the company's partnership interests in the country.
"So far we haven't resumed travel to Algeria. It's a matter of waiting to see what's going to happen," said Gomez.
SNC-Lavalin, a Montreal-based engineering company with offices in Calgary, was the target of a car bombing in Algeria in 2008.
Company spokesperson Leslie Quintin wrote in an e-mail to CBC Calgary that all of its sites are highly secure.
"SNC-Lavalin's Algerian work site has not been affected by the hostage-taking that happened yesterday due to its location and the measures that are in place there," Quintin wrote.
"Following the recent events, we have increased the security for our sites and our employees, who are our primary preoccupation always."
Algerian special forces launched a rescue operation today at the natural gas plant in the Sahara Desert and freed some foreign hostages held by al-Qaeda-linked militants, but estimates of the number of dead varied wildly from four to dozens.