Uncertainty Rises in Lebanon
Spillover from the conflict in Syria has entered a new phase in Lebanon, and we are increasingly concerned that the country will become embroiled in the conflict to the extent that its new oil and gas finds in Levant Basin will be sidelined indefinitely. Earlier this week, Lebanese soldiers stormed a complex held by armed Sunni radicals in in the southern port of Sidon. The Lebanese forces arrested dozens of supporters of a radical Sunni cleric in the raid, but not before 12 soldiers were killed in the incident. Violence also flared in flashpoint Tripoli, where sectarian tensions have been high since the outbreak of conflict in Syria, with gunmen firing on soldiers. Supporters of the radical Sunni cleric accuse the military of backing Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside the Assad regime in Syria. Sunni radical forces are also picking up momentum in the capital, Beirut, numerous road blocks have been set up by militias loyal to both sides.
Mozambique Militants Threaten Small-Scale Insurgency
The militant RENAMO have the capability to launch small-scale attacks on Mozambique’s key energy infrastructure, which will bode ill for the country’s significant progress and recent major gas discoveries. However, at this time we do not believe the group has the capability launch a full-scale insurgency. RENAMO’s most likely targets in the immediate future will be coal mining firms.
Statoil Launching Special Anti-Terror Ops
Prompted by the terrorist attack on Statoil/BP Amenas gas facilities in the Algerian desert, Norway’s Statoil has announced it will form its own special operations division to respond to potential terrorist attacks on its facilities. By July, Statoil will have its own official in charge of security operations. This ushers in the definitive, armed inclusion of oil and gas majors in the “war on terror”, and there are a lot of gray areas here.