Last week’s terrorist attack on an Algerian oil facility could divert Norwegian oil giant Statoil to increased oil production in safer regions, including North Dakota’s Bakken and Three Forks formations, where the two-thirds government owned Statoil already has made a heavy investment.
Five Statoil employees are among the missing after terrorists took hostages and Algerian forces stormed the facility. At least 23 hostages died.
Bloomberg News reported this week that security problems in Algeria and elsewhere in North Africa could prompt Statoil “to focus even more on shale oil and gas in the U.S. and deepwater fields off Brazil, where most of the company’s production growth is expected to occur in this decade.”
The news service quoted Trond Omdal, a securities analyst, as saying the Algeria attack will “reinforce a trend … away from high-risk areas.”