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Oil and Gas Resources of the Middle East and North Africa: A Curse or a Blessing?

  • Marie-Claire Aoun

Abstract

The area covering the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) occupies a key position in the geopolitics of energy. This region, which represents 6 per cent of the world’s population, contains 59 per cent of world oil reserves and 45 per cent of world gas reserves. Some of these countries are rich or very rich. However, this windfall wealth is unevenly distributed and does not automatically lead to economic development. Indeed, many of these countries suffer from what the economists call the ‘resource curse’ (more specifically here the oil curse). The oil curse creates economic distortions that impede economic development. Oil dependence can also have a negative impact on the quality of institutions, in particular when it concerns democracy and corruption. For most of these countries, climate change is not considered as a real issue and energy prices are heavily subsidised.

Keywords

International Monetary Fund Saudi Arabia Middle East Gulf Cooperation Council Resource Curse 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Marie-Claire Aoun 2013

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  • Marie-Claire Aoun

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