Woman in water amidst boats

Gelombang Pengungsi Minyak

NAIROBI – Anggapan bahwa kekayaan minyak bisa menjadi kutukan sudah dikenal sejak lama – dan tidak perlu penjelasan lagi. Setiap beberapa dekade, harga energi melonjak, memicu perebutan sumber-sumber minyak baru. Lalu pasokan akhirnya melebihi permintaan dan harga minyak merosot. Semakin dalam dan cepat terjadinya penurunan ini, semakin besar dampak sosial dan geopolitik yang akan timbul.

Krisis minyak yang besar terakhir terjadi di tahun 1980an – dan itu mengubah dunia. Sebagai pemuda yang bekerja di ladang minyak Texas pada musim semi di tahun 1980, saya menyaksikan acuan harga minyak mentah naik hingga $45 per barel – setara dengan $138 dengan nilai tukar dolar sekarang. Pada tahun 1988, harga jual minyak bahkan lebih rendah dari $9 per barel, kehilangan setengah nilai pada tahun 1986 saja.

Pengendara mobil diuntungkan dengan anjloknya harga bensin. Akan tetapi di tempat lain dampaknya sangat buruk – walaupun tidak seburuk Uni Soviet yang perekonomiannya sangat bergantung pada ekspor minyak bumi. Tingkat pertumbuhan Soviet turun sepertiga dibandingkan tahun 1970an. Ketika Uni Soviet melemah, bentrokan sosial terjadi dan konflik berpuncak pada tahun 1989 saat Tembok Berlin hancur dan komunisme runtuh di seluruh Eropa Tengah dan Timur. Dua tahun kemudian, Uni Soviet pun bubar.

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