Political-security risk in the oil and gas industry : the impact of terrorism on risk management and mitigation

Blomquist, Lars Borge (2015-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: International oil and gas companies are experiencing an increase in terrorist attacks. After the oil and gas industry became a legitimate target for terrorist groups in the 1990s the number of attacks have increased yearly, with a spike after the 9/11 attacks. In today’s interconnected world political risk is not only about the relationship between the host government and the company. Oil and gas companies may experience risks on a transnational, national and human security level. Because of this, the success of new investments often depends on the successful utilization of risk management strategies. This research study focuses on the importance of political-security risk in the oil and gas industry. This is a risk-management tool to be used before and during international operations; it enables companies to be better prepared to deal with risks that may arise. In January 2013 the oil and gas industry experienced one of its deadliest attacks. The In Amenas gas facility in Algeria was attack by terrorists and in a four-day siege 40 people lost their lives. This forced the oil and gas industry to reconsider its focus on security management. As one of the contractors at the facility, Statoil undertook a thorough analysis of security at the site as well as of the company´s corporate security risk management. The report revealed a lack of focus on political-security risk. Accordingly, the main research question in this study concerns the effect of terrorism on politicalsecurity risk in the oil and gas industry; it specifically analyzes the In Amenas attack. The aim of this study is to answer this question along with two sub-questions, which complement and support the main research question. The first sub-question concerns the factors that contributed to the attack in In Amenas: why was risk mitigation not successful? The second sub-question looks at the possibilities for international oil and gas companies to mitigate the risk of terrorism; or is this a risk that can only be managed? This study argues that political-security risk has not been used to its full potential in the oil and gas industry. The oil and gas industry has always focused on site security, but a broader more holistic approach to risk management has been lacking. However, as a result of the In Amenas incident, the industry has become more willing to have a new discussion on security and this has resulted in small changes in the way companies operate.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Internasionale olie- en gasmaatskappye ondervind ‘n toename in terreur aanvalle. Nadat die olie en gasindustrie ‘n wettige teiken vir tereurgroepe in die 1990s geword het, het die aantal aanvalle per jaar toegeneem, met ‘n skerp styging na die 9/11 aanvalle. In vandag se onderling verbonde wêreld hou die politiese risiko nie net verband met die verhouding tussen die gasregering en die maatskappy nie. Olie- en gasmaatskappye mag risiko’s op trans-nasionale, nasionale en menslike sekuriteitsvlak ervaar. As gevolg hiervan maak die sukses van nuwe beleggings dikwels staat op die suksesvolle gebruik van risiko-bestuur strategieë. Hierdie navorsingstudie fokus op die belang van ‘n politiese veiligheidsrisiko in die olie en gasindustrie. Hierdie is ‘n risiko-bestuur gereedskap wat gebruik sal word voor en tydens internasionale operasies; dit stel die maatskappye in staat om beter voorbereid te wees om die risiko’s wat mag voorkom te hanteer. In Januarie 2013 het die olie en gasindustrie een van die dodelikste aanvalle beleef. Die In Amenas olie-aanleg in Algerië is deur terroriste aangeval en tydens ‘n 4 dae lange inval het 40 mense hul lewens verloor. Dit het die olie en gasindustrie gedwing om hul fokus op veiligheidsbestuur te heroorweeg. As een van die kontrakteur by die aanleg het Statoil ‘n deeglike ontleding van die sekuriteit by die plek sowel as die maatskappy se korporatiewe veiligheid risikobestuur onderneem. Die verslag het ‘n gebrek aan fokus op die politiese veiligheidsrisiko getoon. Die hoof navorsingsvraag in hierdie studie het betrekking op die effek van terreur op politiese veiligheidsrisiko in die olie- en gasindustrie; dit ontleed spesifiek die In Amenas aanval. Die doel van hierdie studie is om hierdie vraag tesame met twee sub-vrae wat die hoof navorsingsvraag komplimenteer en ondersteun. Die eerste sub-vraag het betrekking op die faktore wat bygedra het tot die aanval in In Amenas: hoekom was risiko mitigasie onsuksesvol? Die tweede sub-vraag kyk na die moontlikhede vir internasionale olie- en gasmaatskappye om die risiko van terreur te versag; of is hierdie ‘n risiko wat slegs bestuur kan word? Hierdie studie argumeneer dat politiese veiligheidsrisiko nie tot sy volle potensiaal in die olie en gasindustrie gebruik is nie. Die olie en gasindustrie het altyd gefokus op die veiligheid van die plek, maar ‘n breër holistiese benadering tot risiko-bestuur het ontbreek. As gevolg van die In Amenas insident, het die industrie meer gewillig geword om ‘n nuwe bespreking oor veiligheid te hê en dit het klein veranderinge in die manier waarop maatskappye opereer tot gevolg gehad.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96673
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