Even though ISIS is far from gone, the market hasn’t really considered the possibility of a terrorism-related oil outage.
But given that ISIS is not far from major energy facilities and that oil has been a key part of the ISIS’ governing strategy, such a risk is worth keeping in mind, argues RBC Capital Markets’ Helima Croft.
“Amid the current oil glut, the market seems to have written off the risk of a terrorism-related outage despite the group’s proximity to major energy facilities. The deadly 2013 siege at Algeria’s Amenas gas facility in 2006 should serve as a stark reminder that determined extremists can penetrate sites that are widely judged as secure,” she writes. “While such an attack does not seem to be part of the group’s immediate playbook, our concern is that it may not be beyond their capabilities.”
“[I]f ISIS were to intensify their focus on regional energy targets and take a large facility offline, we believe it would have an outsized price impact — at least in part because the oil market has seemingly written off such a scenario,” Croft adds.
In light of that, Croft and her team also shared a map showing where ISIS’ footprint across Iraq and Syria overlaps with oil infrastructure. The lighter grey areas show ISIS operational spheres, the darker areas are zones with oil fields, and yellow are oil refineries.
As you can see below, there are several overlaps.
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