With terror attacks on oil facilities becoming an increasingly deadly trend, energy firms have begun taking their security into their own hands.
Norwegian energy company Statoil said last week it is forming a special operations division to handle emergency operations in response to a terrorist attack on a natural gas facility in Algeria. The company said it would double the number of employees it had designated for existing security operations after reviewing the measures in place at the In Amenas gas facility. A January attack there left employees from Statoil and BP dead in what al-Qaida said was a response to French intervention in Mali. With the economy just as much a viable target as any, counter-terrorism may becoming more than just the military's game.
A January attack by a division of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb left several energy company employees and foreign fighters dead. The Algerian attack had the logistical support of Islamic fighters who traveled across the western border from Libya, still unsettled nearly two years after the revolution.
Operations at In Amenas resumed at a limited capacity after the attack for owners Statoil, BP and Algeria's state energy company Sonatrach. France's Total said it too was spending more on industry-wide security operations since the January attack. Natural gas production has declined since roughly 2005 for Algeria, and lingering instability in the region suggests a turnaround isn't likely in the medium term.