CTC Sentinel: Terrorist Targeting of the Libyan O&G Sector


While the hydrocarbons sector in Libya has been the focal point of social unrest and political violence ever since the fall of Muammar Qadhafi’s regime in 2011, it is only in the last two months that Libya’s oil sector has been targeted by jihadis for the purposes of terrorism. On the one hand, this development is due to the changing security landscape in Libya. On the other hand, it may be the influence of a report released in December 2014 by Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s group, the Mourabitoun, exhorting jihadis to attack oil installations and providing a “how-to” guide based on his group’s own experience attacking the Tigantourine gas facility at In Amenas, Algeria in 2013. What this development means, though, is that not only are competing political groups in Libya fighting for control of Libya’s hydrocarbons sector, but there now appear to be jihadis bent on destroying it.

NARCO Analysis: How Risky is Libya's IS


By now everyone knows about (but should not watch) the Islamic State (IS) video showing the murders of 21 Egyptian Copts. IS’s presence in Libya was already widely recognized by Libya analysts, but the Copts’ gruesome murder has made IS’s Libyan presence known to a much wider audience – which was precisely what the video was supposed to do. Nonetheless, there are significant differences between the Libyan operating environment and IS’s area of operations in Iraq and Syria. In fact, these differences may serve to amplify IS’s capabilities in Libya and make it appear to be a larger threat than it actually is. For the business environment, Libya has sadly ceased to matter, but IS’s emergence in Libya has important implications for Tunisia and Algeria.

North Africa Round Up (Jan. 2015)


Yet again North African countries are following different courses as 2015 gets underway. Even so, with the exception of Libya, whose oil and gas problems are much more profound, the question of shale gas exploitation is an emerging theme. Likewise, all North African countries are grappling with jihadi activity of one kind and another. Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria, however, are as politically divergent as could be. Morocco has been quiet politically and in the oil and gas sector as well. The NARCO North Africa Round Up for January looks at Algeira, Libya, and Tunisia. We'll get back to Morocco as events merit.

NARCO Analysis: Algeria Shale Gas Risks


Shale gas protests are posing problems in southern Algeria, but shale exploitation will likely continue.

NARCO Analysis: Paris Attacks & their Aftermath


Despite French President François Hollande’s professed shock, and without intending to diminish the tragedy of Wednesday’s terror attack in Paris and the seriousness of the ongoing crisis, those of us at the intersection of France, North Africa, and Islamist extremist violence were not very much surprised by what has transpired.

NARCO Analysis: North Africa Oil & Gas Summit After Action


It was great to catch up with so many of you in person last week in Algiers at the oil and gas conference and in Casablanca and Rabat.

The below is a little bit of a departure from the usual NARCO Notes and NARCO Closeholds. Just wanted to briefly touch on some salient points from the Algiers event.

North Africa Round Up


North African countries continue to follow increasingly divergent paths and defy discernible regional trends. Each country is following a different political trajectory and their oil and gas sectors continue to diverge. If there is one commonality, it is increased threats posed by ISIS supporters. But even then, this differs from one country to the next.

North Africa Round Up


There is a lot going on in North Africa in the last couple of weeks, so I’d like to depart from my usual approach of addressing a single topic and look at the region thematically, with snapshots of the security, political, and oil sector developments in Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.

NARCO Analysis: October 2014


Celebrations marking Eid al-Adha provided a brief intermission in Algerian politics, which have become more active since the end of summer holidays. And with the conclusion of the Eid came the answer to the episodic question: Where is President Bouteflika?

NARCO Analysis September 2014 Part #2


Sometimes it’s unfortunate to have been right. In last week’s North Africa Round Up, I noted that the continued fracturing of jihadi groups in North Africa could result in “outbidding.” In particular, a new group, “The Caliphate’s Army in the Land of Algeria”.



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