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Vol 48 No 14

Published 6th July 2007


Books on the boom

Africa's oil boom has inspired three very different books, which investigate the links between the billions of petrodollars and the persistent poverty and oppression reigning in so many oil-rich states.

Africa produces far less than the Middle East: around 2.6 million barrels a day from Nigeria and close to 2 mn. b/d from Angola by the end of 2008, compared to Saudi Arabia's 9 mn. plus b/d. However, a much greater share of West Africa's oil flows to the United States and Europe. Between them, Angola and Nigeria in 2006 supplied around 1.65 mn. b/d to the USA, compared to 1.6 mn. b/d from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The African share is likely to rise more quickly, given that West African crude oil is generally lighter (more versatile) and sweeter (less sulphur and other impurities) than Middle Eastern crude.

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