This week, we take you through a list of security and stability alerts in areas where oil and gas operations and other commodities may be affected.
• Egypt: Spillover from Syria
Another suicide car bombing at a policeman’s club in al-Arish, North Sinai governorate killed at least six and wounded 10 others. The attack is believed to have been perpetrated by a group that has affiliated itself with the Islamic State (IS), Wilayat Sinai. For oil and gas operations, this should be viewed as a significant security issue—both in the Sinai and the Nile Delta regions (the latter has been the site of some major new exploration)—representing the definitive spillover of the conflict from Syria.
• Romania: Political Unrest, Seething Corruption
Unrest in Romania intensifies, and the resignation of Prime Minister Victor Ponta does not seem to have helped at all. Mass protests were calling for his resignation and early elections after a 30 October fire in a nightclub in Bucharest caused 32 deaths. Ponta has now stepped down, but the protests continue. Corruption is the issue here, and Ponta has been charged in a number of cases and is expected to face trial. This is not, however, a case of one allegedly corrupt official. Corruption is entrenched at all levels, and that Ponta has now fallen largely means that he simply lost the game to his equally corrupt political rivals. Thus, protests continue. This comes shortly after Russian oil giant…