Syria’s oil minister reports that production is down to 20,000 b/d from 380,000 b/d two years ago and that natural gas production is about half pre-war levels.
Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, a senior Navy officer, has warned pirates operating in the Niger Delta and other parts of the Gulf of Guinea that the military is determined to tackle the problem of organized criminal activity in the region. He said that the Navy had intercepted more than 40 vessels trading in stolen oil products and arrested dozens of Nigerian and foreign nationals in recent months. However, the hijacking of a tanker off Bayelsa state on 25 May and the seizure of its Nigerian and Pakistani crew is the latest illustration of the scale of the challenge facing the security agencies.
Admiral Ibas noted that the oil industry has several thousand facilities, including pipelines and well-heads, spread across a large and often inaccessible area. Government and industry officials also estimate the level of oil theft at between 100,000-300,000 barrels/day, a multi-billion dollar industry that could not operate on such a scale without the collusion of figures within the oil companies, Government, security services and international oil-trading networks. Interdiction alone therefore offers little prospect of success in tackling what appears to be a more complex and systemic problem that reaches into the foundations of Nigeria’s political culture.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq foiled an al Qaeda plot to use tanker trucks packed with explosives to attack a key Baghdad oil facility, a senior security official and oil sources said.The security official
NIAMEY, Niger a Suicide bombers in Niger detonated two car bombs simultaneously on Thursday, one inside a military camp in the city of Agadez and another in the remote town of Arlit at a French-operated uranium mine, killing a total of 26 people and injuring 30, according to officials in Niger and France.
In the 2nd attack in a week, militants used a reported 6 bombs to blow up the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, north of al-Shurgat (north of Baiji), Iraq. The bombs were planted under the pipeline and detonated just after midnight (on a Monday night).
And the number of EI attacks in Iraq continue to climb…
British oil company BP said it is withdrawing some non-essential staff from Libya after Britain’s government warned about deteriorating security in the capital Tripoli.
Challenges in the operating space from Algeria to Libya…
Africa Progress Panel released a report on the management - er mismanagement - of Africa’s natural resource weath. The pic is a nice infographic visualizing the who has what’ on the continent.
Skimming the report I found myself asking: Is there anything surprising here? Nope - sadly, same old story of revenue mismanagement, no sign of trickle down, widening gap between rich and poor, etc. This is especially disappointing when one considers that between 2000 and 2011, Equatorial Guinea was the world’s fastest-growing economy, with output growth averaging 17%. In 2012, Angola, Niger and Sierra Leone outperformed China; and Ghana, Mozambique and Zambia outperformed India. Yet, visit some of these countries and growth is hard to see. Sure, there are white elephant projects - like the building of skyscrapers or residential compounds that a majority of the public do not have access to - but the true signs of development - such as electricity and road infrastructure - are negligible.
If we look at the poverty numbers, it seems there have been a few small strides. Tanzania, Mozambique and Ghana have all reduced poverty rates in the last decade, but there in each country the poverty rate is still over 50% of population. Despite increased growth in Cameroon and Mali there has been no effect on poverty and in Nigeria and Zambia poverty numbers have actually increased.
But if we look at the true champion on the continent it is Botswana where natural resource governance has been more successful because they have built institutions and adopted legislation that establishes clear rules on the management of resource revenues, along with independent institutions that uphold those rules.This leads me to wonder: how can the Botswana (or even Chile) inform or inspire more strategic corporate social responsibility interventions in countries w/ high national resource wealth but history of mismanagement? Are there ‘governance interventions’ that multinational companies can make to help bolster and support institutional growth because it is in its strategic interest? (Note: I include another pic from the report that summarizes the recommendations for companies).
Algerian moves to increase security after a terrorist attack on a natural gas facility in January don’t address the underlying security threat of doing business there. Energy and other companies must beware of the destabilizing rivalries among Algerian leaders, who use extremist groups for their own ends.
The Power of Contagion: from network studies to financial crisis
Just saw this on Twitter:
— Jay Ulfelder (@jay_ulfelder)
Related, I also came across this study:
Peckham, R. “Economies of contagion: financial crisis and pandemic” Economy and Society Volume 42 Number 2 May 2013
For access see here
Such studies are using ideas pulled from contagion to examine complex interactive processes. I would also argue that the contagion framework is also quite relevant for examining violence, or the spread and movement of violence.
Tactics and targeting behaviors of (violent) non-state actors do not arise or spread in a vacuum but rather through a complex interactive process between people and their environment (both the physical and virtual space). In other words - just like fads, rumors, or even diseases - violence, (and to that end violent tactics like targeting of energy assets), can have a contagion effect.
A court in Saudi Arabia has issued a primary ruling condemning a Jordanian and six Saudi nationals for planning to carry out a suicide operation at an Aramco oil company building in Dhahran city in Eastern Province, Saudi TV1 channel reported. The group had acquired weapons, ammunition and explosive belts to carry out the attack, the report said without specifying the nature of the planned operation.