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Vol 45 No 11

Published 28th May 2004

The East needs oil

Higher oil prices are helping Africa's producers and punishing its consumers

With its eyes fixed on Iraq, the United States has done little to diversify its sources of crude oil, despite some proposals that were bandied around a couple of years ago (AC Vol 43 No 5). Now, with the Iraq adventure looking shaky, a huge new market for oil is opening up in China, which attaches no policy strings to its bargains. The oil price is soaring, with happy results for Africa's oil producers and dire consequences for the (far more numerous) importers of fuel. China is leading an Asian push into Africa's new oil provinces, as the prospect of a long period of high prices whets appetites for exploration.

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