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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

19 January 2006

Nigerian oil

The Christian Science Monitor has a story today about Nigeria’s oil and the possible threat that exists to the infrastructure that brings that oil to the world market. And even though I disagree with the impression given by the report that it is such threats that are mainly responsible for high oil prices (in my post “Oil and terror,” 09 Dec 05), this is a good account both of the tension between Royal Dutch Shell and the local population as well as between the central government and the oil-producing southern region.

What is normally classified as a political-economic problem of helping producer countries diversify away from petroleum exports is also a problem of political geography requiring the inclusion and placation of quite distinct groups within a state mechanism and functioning political bargain. It is usually those groups which sit atop the oil and which are most disenfranchised when their mineral wealth does not produce benefits for them. It is this story that matters in Nigeria.

References:
Abraham McLaughlin, “Behind rising oil cost: Nigeria,” Christian Science Monitor, 19 Jan 06 (link)

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