The attack on an Algerian gas facility by terrorists is likely to spark further targeting of power facilities not just in the Middle East and North Africa but also on the European mainland, according to a report by security consultants.
More than 50 multinational workers at the oil and gas facility were killed in the four-day incident which began with the hijacking of employees and ended with Algerian forces storming the plant.
The report by Compass Risk Management states that “there is a risk that In Aménas will inspire other groups to emulate the attack”.
It states that while security in the MENA region will be ramped up, “due to the economic importance and involvement of western countries, the [energy] industry will remain a very attractive target”.
It adds that potential terrorist methods could include strikes on pipelines and other exposed infrastructure, further kidnapping of personnel in transit and suicide bomb attacks against facility entrances.
It also states that due to “historic connection”, France and Spain are the most at-risk countries for attacks in Europe.
The report comes as Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg yesterday said that the In Amenas incident – which left five Norwegian workers missing, presumed dead – was “a threat to global energy security”.
“The crisis in Algeria is the worst attack on Norwegian commercial interests outside of Norway,” said Stoltenberg. “This time is was Algeria – the next time the terrorists may strike Norway or some other country.”
In Aménas was commissioned in 2006 and contributes 10 per cent of Algeria’s gas exports. It is run by BP, Norway’s Statoil and Algeria’s Sonatrach and is the starting point of the In Amenas-Hassi Messaoud gas pipeline.