Algerian Energy Minister, Salah Khebri, reaffirmed that the nation’s oil and gas fields are fully protected from potential terrorist attacks. “Authorities have taken the necessary measures around the sites,” Khebri told reporters in Algiers, wrote All Africa.

The Algerian authorities provided the means and the conditions to ensure the security of the foreigners working in the oil and gas fields in the south of the country, the minister told the press. Khebri declared that the Krechba gas field production is currently protected by the state-run energy giant Sonatrach.

The confirmation came in response to a recent decision by British Petroleum (BP) and Statoil energy giants to withdraw their staff from the Krechba gas field, 700 km in southern Algiers, over a minor rocket-attack in March, for which al-Qaida in the Arab Maghreb Union countries claimed responsibility.

Further, Minister Khebri stated that the production in the Khrechba gas site, near In Salah is handled by the national teams and the decision of the foreign companies to withdraw their personnel is a “non-event,” informed Shanghai Daily.

“Whoever wants to leave is free to do so, and we cannot force anyone to stay, but BP and Statoil have to abide by their contract clauses,” he noted.

The site is jointly operated by BP, Statoil and Sonatrach.