Saturday, September 16, 2006

Good news and bad news for oil at week's end

Good news first: The planned three-day Nigerian oil strike ended early, after the country's federal ministry of productivity and labor intervened. (And, yes, this is the first time we've ever typed the words "federal" and "productivity" in the same sentence.)

Union organizers say they'll meet with the government again on September 22 to discuss plans for protecting workers and facilities from future rebel militia attacks.

Now, the bad news, which is very bad indeed: According to government sources, al Qaeda is responsible for two botched attacks on Yemeni oil and gas facilities on September 15. Today, security forces in Yemen arrested four additional al Qaeda terrorists who were planned attacks in San'a, the country's capital.

Yemen's interior minister, Rashad Rashad al-Eleimi, told reporters he believes the attacks relate to the message al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri released on September 11 threatening attacks on sites where Westerners are "stealing Muslim oil."

Two historical notes: Yemen is Osama bin Laden's homeland and it is the site of the USS Cole bombing in 2000.

One future note: Yemen is set to hold national elections on September 20, when pro-West v. pro-Islamist policies are facing off.

Policy Note A: Attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria and Yemen seem small in the scheme of things, but they have the potential to disrupt supply and fan anti-Western resentment, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. This is bad for business, energy, and national security.

Policy Note B: If high prices and global climate change don't make enough of a case for fast-tracking domestic energy resources, this should.

Technorati tags: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home