Africa's Oil Rush

It takes a threat to oil supplies to get world leaders to pay attention to Africa. Usually neglected by globetrotting statesmen, the continent recently saw visits from US President George W. Bush, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Brazil's Lula Da Silva, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and many other world leaders. Their public comments were typically devoted to development, ending Africa's many wars, and the fight against HIV/AIDS, but all of them had oil on their minds.

An oil rush is underway in the continent, because all developed countries' national security depends on a steady oil supply, and sub-Saharan Africa owns 8% of the world's known reserves. In 2002 production was 2.1 million barrels a day in Nigeria, 900,000 in Angola, 283,000 in Congo Brazzaville, 265,000 in Equatorial Guinea, 247,000 in Gabon, 227,000 in Sudan, 75,000 in Cameroon, 28,000 in South Africa, 25,000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and 11,000 in Ivory Coast.

The US alone imports 1.5 million barrels a day from West Africa, the same amount it imports from Saudi Arabia. According to the US Energy Department, within this decade American oil imports from Africa will reach 770 millions barrels annually, as exploration intensifies throughout the Gulf of Guinea, and as the US brokers peace in war-ravaged oil-producing countries, such as Sudan and Angola, and establishes strategic bases to safeguard output. As a result, West African oil producers will be earning an estimated $200 billion over the next decade, more than 10 times the sum Western countries allocate each year to the "aid industry" in the region.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/EqKL0Po;
  1. Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images

    The Summit of Climate Hopes

    Presidents, prime ministers, and policymakers gather in Paris today for the One Planet Summit. But with no senior US representative attending, is the 2015 Paris climate agreement still viable?

  2. Trump greets his supporters The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Populist Plutocracy and the Future of America

    • In the first year of his presidency, Donald Trump has consistently sold out the blue-collar, socially conservative whites who brought him to power, while pursuing policies to enrich his fellow plutocrats. 

    • Sooner or later, Trump's core supporters will wake up to this fact, so it is worth asking how far he might go to keep them on his side.
  3. Agents are bidding on at the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

    The Man Who Didn’t Save the World

    A Saudi prince has been revealed to be the buyer of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi," for which he spent $450.3 million. Had he given the money to the poor, as the subject of the painting instructed another rich man, he could have restored eyesight to nine million people, or enabled 13 million families to grow 50% more food.

  4.  An inside view of the 'AknRobotics' Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    Two Myths About Automation

    While many people believe that technological progress and job destruction are accelerating dramatically, there is no evidence of either trend. In reality, total factor productivity, the best summary measure of the pace of technical change, has been stagnating since 2005 in the US and across the advanced-country world.

  5. A student shows a combo pictures of three dictators, Austrian born Hitler, Castro and Stalin with Viktor Orban Attila Kisbenedek/Getty Images

    The Hungarian Government’s Failed Campaign of Lies

    The Hungarian government has released the results of its "national consultation" on what it calls the "Soros Plan" to flood the country with Muslim migrants and refugees. But no such plan exists, only a taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign to help a corrupt administration deflect attention from its failure to fulfill Hungarians’ aspirations.

  6. Project Syndicate

    DEBATE: Should the Eurozone Impose Fiscal Union?

    French President Emmanuel Macron wants European leaders to appoint a eurozone finance minister as a way to ensure the single currency's long-term viability. But would it work, and, more fundamentally, is it necessary?

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now