NARCO RoundUp (APR18)


Ramadan is fast upon us (رمضان كريم لجميع المسلمين) and things are starting to slow down but haven’t come to a complete halt yet. It’s a season of revival and return: politics is dynamic with Ouyahia hanging on in Algeria, Haftar coming back to Libya, and Mohamed VI to Morocco. The Islamic State is back also, especially in Libya. And so are oil prices, which has ramifications for Algeria and Libya. Morocco not so much.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: The Islamic State in Libya #bâqîyah


A couple weeks ago, North Africa Risk Consulting spoke with its most trusted Islamic State source. The source detests the Islamic State with a passion that only someone who's suffered from its atrocities can, but at the same time the source is the most level-headed, least alarmist Islamic State analyst NARCO knows. The subject was Libya and the status of the Islamic State...

NARCO Analysis: A Libya With Less Haftar


In a few weeks’ time, Libya’s civil war will enter its fifth year. A good way to test your understanding of the conflict is by trying to summarize it. If you can’t help but refer to Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar – the military commander based in the country’s eastern half – as the conflict’s central figure, then perhaps you’re merely rehashing canned narratives that even Abu Dhabi, Cairo, and Paris themselves stopped peddling months ago.

NARCO RoundUp (MAR18)


Spring is in the air in North Africa and things are starting to move again. The Algerian political rumor mill is starting to grind, a perverse stability is taking root in Libya, and speculation about Ould Abdelaziz’s intentions are budding in Nouakchott. Security throughout the Maghreb is still curiously – but not acutely – problematic. And the oil sector from Libya to Mauritania is on the upswing.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: Something's Amiss in Mohamed VI's Morocco


Morocco's macroeconomic indicators are good. Monetary policy is moving in the right direction. Ease of doing business is great. There’s abundant investment in infrastructure. But something's amiss in Mohamed VI's Morocco.

NARCO Analysis: Libya's 1mbpd Question (Part Three)


Back in September 2017 NARCO put out some analysis about Libya managing beyond all expectations to maintain production at that magic 1mpbd threshold. The September note was a follow up to an earlier note from July 2017 when Libya hit 1mbpd for the first time in three years. The following is Part Three of that discussion.

NARCO RoundUp (JAN18)


It’s a new year, but some things just still remain the same. In fact, in some cases they are getting worse – Tunisia is lurching toward economic austerity and political authoritarianism; Libya’s political process is a shambles even as oil production inexplicably stabilizes at around 1.1mbpd. Algeria’s hanging on and is even starting to make some changes for the better. At least in the energy sector. Politics, not so much.

NARCO RoundUp (DEC17)


As 2017 winds down and 2018 gears up, NARCO takes a look back at what happened in Algeria, Libya, and Morocco last year and what’s likely to happen next year. Not surprisingly, there were no dramatic changes in trajectory in any of the three countries – with each pursuing foreseeable paths. Next year, though, “a change is gonna come,” and we could see meaningful developments in politics in Algeria and Libya, and hydrocarbons in Morocco.

NARCO CLOSEHOLD: The Nouakchott Hustle


ExxonMobil signed an exploration deal this week for three offshore blocks. Although the terms are not yet public, Nouakchott is murmuring that XOM paid a US$70 million signing bonus. That’s big. Especially for a country with a 2016 GDP of US$4.6 billion. But the Exxon deal isn’t the only thing happening in Mauritania these days. Extractive industries in general are booming and Nouakchott is bouncing.



NARCO CLOSEHOLD is timely, actionable analysis derived from discreet sources. NARCO CLOSEHOLDs are crafted as events merit. They are available to NARCO's subscription and retainer clients and on a case-by-case basis.

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