Shutting the gate might have helped

I’m rather glad about this:

The family of two Britons killed in a terrorist attack on the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria reportedly intend to sue UK supermajor BP over an alleged lack of adequate security measures at the facility.
It follows a UK inquest this week into the deaths of seven Britons killed in the armed siege that heard “unnecessary and intentional” delays meant government intelligence about terror plots to kidnap British workers in Algeria was not passed on before the assault, according to a report on the BBC’s website.



Judge Nicholas Hilliard returned verdicts of unlawful killing on the seven British victims – Garry Barlow, Carlos Estrada Valencia, Sebastian John, Carson Bilsland, Kenny Whiteside, Stephen Green and Paul Morgan – following the 30-day inquest.



The most recent security plan, carried out in January 2013, had recognised that an attack was a “real risk”, the judge said.

The inquest also heard that a report commissioned by Statoil revealed in July 2012 there was a risk of a single and forceful attack.


Hilliard pointed out security shortcomings at the time of the attack, stating that the main gate to the plant was open and there were no armed guards stationed at the entrance to living quarters or in the guard tower, news wire NTB reported.


He said, had the gate been shut, it could have slightly delayed the terrorists and possibly avoided some loss of life, but this could not be determined with certainty.


The surviving relatives of Estrada –a Colombian by origin who moved to London – and Green now intend to take legal action to seek compensation from BP over the alleged lack of security at the plant.

Good.  If you want to know why, I refer you to my post from last April.

The lawyer for Estrada’s widow, Andrew Ritchie, told the news wire she would be seeking damages amounting to the sum her late husband would have contributed to her and her daughter for the rest of his life.


Ritchie said evidence presented at the inquest indicated Estrada’s death could have been avoided, adding it revealed “BP’s methodology for risk assessment was a real mess”.

Its methodology is a real mess because it refuses to acknowledge what is blatantly obvious: the locals cannot manage security.

BP has so far not responded to the reported threat of legal action but has stated: “Ourselves and our partners in In Amenas will do all we can to prevent such an incident happening again.”

Bullshit.  You’ll be as reliant on the useless locals just as you were before.  You know, the ones who left the plant gate open.  Yet without even waiting for the bodies to cool down, the government in Algiers restated that foreign security companies would not be allowed to take over.  So unless BP is shutting down its operations because they are unable to protect its workers, that statement is bullshit and they know it.

When an oil company says “we are doing all we can”, what they mean is “we are doing all our masters allow us to do, and if we push for more we will lose production”.  Unless and until western oil companies refuse to operate in countries where their workers are systematically put at risk through using incompetent local security forces at the insistence of the host government, then they will continue to lose staff in attacks like the one at Amenas.  The oil companies know this, but consider such loss of life to be an acceptable price to maintain production.

I hope they get sued to hell and back.

Your local security forces, protecting you 24/7.


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