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Just as Europe was recovering from the initial shock of the conflict on its eastern borders and trying to come to grips with its fate, another war was knocking at the door of the continent. On 7 October 2023, Hamas gunmen struck Israel with biblical ferocity, setting the already troubled region ablaze. European decision-makers are now increasingly turning their attention southwards to prevent an escalation of the conflict. At the same time, the special focus on the region can be strongly justified not only by the fierce fighting, but also by the security of supply as well as economic and energy market realities. In our previous analysis of the Eastern Mediterranean, we looked in detail at the hydrocarbon wealth of this part of the region and the fierce competition for its extraction. While the information revealed suggests that the eastern Mediterranean could offer unparalleled opportunities for Europe, we should also look to the Maghreb region, a major North African region to the west. Today, this part of the North African region has been in the news mainly because of illegal migration and bloody revolutions, but we should not forget the significant hydrocarbon reserves and demographic reserves there. The right mix of cheap energy and abundant labour, combined with political stability, can rocket the competitiveness of some countries in the region. This could not only offer significant economic opportunities for Europe, but could also alleviate the increasing pressure from illegal migration. But which countries in the region have these huge hydrocarbon reserves and could they be involved in strengthening Europe’s security of supply? Our next analysis of the Maghreb region will seek to answer this question by looking at the hydrocarbon production and energy specificities of the countries that make up the region.

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