Terrorism in Algeria’s Impact on Natural Gas Development in North Africa
Dozens of hostages from the United States, Britain, Japan, the Philippines, and other countries were killed at a natural gas production facility in Algeria on Saturday during a bloody standoff between Algerian security forces and their captors, followers of a Mali-based warlord who has links to Al Qaeda. The warlord, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, released a video claiming responsibility for the attack and promised more violence in the future.
The attack comes at a time when the energy industry has been looking at Northern Africa as an untapped resource. “BP, and other majors, regard it as a very important and significant region for future development,” says Marketplace’s Stephen Beard. “There have been years of under-investment there, largely due to the isolation of the Gadhafi regime in Libya.”
But after the Arab Spring swept several North African regimes out of power, the energy industry has set its sights on the region. “North Africa could become a major energy growth area,” Beard says.
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