European Oil Companies Withdraw Staff From Egypt Amid Unrest

Europe’s biggest oil companies have withdrawn some staff from Egypt as supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi clashed with the military.

BP Plc, BG Group Plc and Eni SpA have removed non-essential staff, officials at the companies said. Royal Dutch Shell Plc said today it temporarily relocated some workers and dependents as violence in the country left at least 35 people dead.

“The main priority is the safety and security of our personnel,” said Mark Todd, a spokesman for BG Group. “Like everybody else, we continue to monitor the situation.”

Oil and gas production hasn’t been affected by the unrest, the companies said. Egypt produced 728,000 barrels of oil a day last year and 60.9 billion cubic meters of natural gas, according to statistics compiled by BP.

BG Group has removed about 100 people from the country, including dependents of staff. BP has withdrawn about 60 people.

Mursi, who started his term a year ago, was deposed by the military on July 3 in response to popular discontent with his leadership. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets to demand he step down, accusing him of betraying the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak by grabbing power for the new president’s Islamist backers and exacerbating Egypt’s economic plight.

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