Algeria said it has arrested seven suspected Islamist gunmen in Amenas, close to the gas plant where an attack took place three years ago. A statement said the militants were not linked with any group but a number of different factions including Al Qaeda and ISIS (Islamic State) do operate in the region.
Saudi Arabia is delaying payments to government contractors as the slump in oil prices pushes the country into a deficit for the first time since 2009, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. Companies working on infrastructure projects have been waiting six months or more for payments as the government seeks to preserve cash, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Delays have increased this year and the government has also been seeking to cut prices on contracts, the people said.
Oil and gas contractors are facing a triple tax blow under a stealth £3billion tax raid by George Osborne. As the dust settles on the first Tory budget in nearly 20 years, details of a three-pronged attack on the North Sea's self-employed workforce are now emerging. Contractors - who have already bore the burnt of the job cuts which have plagued the industry since the turn of the year - look certain to lose out on thousands of pounds of income due to changes in Fividend Tax next year.
A conference has been called in Aberdeen to offer advice to oil and gas contractors as North Sea firms begin cutting thousands of jobs and rates are also reduced. Hundreds of people are already out of work as major energy firms react to the Brent crude slump. Last week, Talisman Sinopec said 300 jobs from its North Sea operations are to go, including 200 contractors. Schlumberger and BP have also revealed plans to axe hundreds of north-east jobs.