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French oil body expects firms to remove staff from Algeria

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PARIS, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The head of France's oil industry body, UFIP, said on Thursday he expected French energy companies would move some employees out of Algeria and other high-risk areas after Islamist militants took dozens hostage at an Algerian gas plant.

Energy companies such as Total with operations in Algeria have declined to discuss what measures they will take following Wednesday's attack, but UFIP head Jean-Louis Schilansky said security was bound to be increased.

"These facilities are very vulnerable. I think that a number of companies will repatriate some of their staff because conditions today are very difficult," he told reporters.