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About North Africa Risk Consulting

North Africa Risk Consulting, Inc. is a political risk firm specializing exclusively in North Africa & the Sahara. NARCO has extensive experience helping firms navigate Maghreb markets. Ongoing events in North Africa and the Sahara have heightened the need to understand political circumstances, their trajectories and implications for the business environment. Learn more about North Africa Risk Consulting.

NARCO RoundUp (January 2017)

The January NARCO RoundUp returns to the conventional format looking at Politics, Security and Oil in Libya, Algeria, and Morocco. If there is any one regional political trend it is stasis. Apart from Libya, there is not much happening on the political front in North Africa. So much so that it has been more than 17 weeks since Morocco’s legislative elections and still no government. Violent crime has displaced terrorism as the main security risk in Libya. Algeria remains unchanged. And Morocco keeps busting terror plots, with the latest allegedly involving an Islamic State bomb maker from Libya. Lastly, for the first time in years Libya’s near term oil outlook is good. Algeria’s not so much, but for reasons that are largely outside of its control. And questions continue to swirl around Samir, Morocco’s only (and shuttered) refinery

NARCO Analysis: Why the US bombed ISIS in Libya

Overnight, the US bombed Islamic State training camps in the vicinity Sirte, Libya. The bombing came as somewhat of a surprise both because of its timing and how it was carried out. In particular, the bombing comes a month after the Pentagon announced the end of air operations against the Islamist State in Libya (and on the last full day of Barack Obama’s presidency.) In addition, the bombing was carried out by B-2 bombers based in the US rather the US fighter jets based in Europe or on aircraft carriers. There are several (not mutually exclusive) explanations for why the bombing and why now.

NARCO RoundUp: Looking Backwards and Forward

This issue of the NARCO RoundUp is a kind of retrospective on the last twelve months and a little forecasting for what’s to come. A lot changed. Libya defeated a lot of demons, but only to make room for some more. Algeria’s change is paradoxically incremental and disruptive, with the landscape shifting, but not in any determinate way. Tunisia’s changes seem to be mostly cosmetic. But a lot also stayed the same. Libya is still barely a state. Expected changes in leadership in Algeria failed to materialize. Tunisia is still a political, economic and security mess. What does it all mean? There will be a civil war in Libya. In Algeria, the state will have to manage its contract with society more carefully than it has in the last decade. And Tunisia will struggle to remain relevant.

NARCO RoundUp (November 2016)

The November NARCO RoundUp focuses on the impact that the incoming Trump administration in the US will have on politics, security and oil in North Africa. Trump’s affinity for strongmen and stability means that, apart from Libya where he’ll bolster Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, he is likely to leave the region well enough alone. The new US intelligence and security chiefs will probably take a much tougher (and less nuanced) stance on counter-terrorism in the region which is likely to sit well with the region’s governments. Political uncertainty, the higher likelihood of vioLent confrontation, and a former oil executive as Trump’s potential Secretary of State all point to upward pressure on oil prices, with winners and losers in the region.