MENA energy producers see mixed fortunes after global recession

Published July 18th, 2010 - 10:31 GMT

Energy-dependent economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Libya, have emerged in varying conditions following the 2008-2009 global economic recession. Sharp drops in commodity prices have hit government revenues and dented inward investment, but most will remain stable, even though lower growth will affect businesses and consumers.

Many countries in the resource-rich MENA region are reliant on energy for government revenues and economic growth. In 2009, mining and quarrying of energy-producing materials accounted for 59.3% of GDP in Saudi Arabia, which is the region's largest economy. Other economies such as Algeria, Libya and Kuwait are also driven by energy exports;

Virtually all energy producers experienced a period of rapid growth up to 2008 thanks to high crude oil and gas prices, population growth and foreign investment. Real GDP growth in Qatar was 15.8% in 2008;

However, the global economic recession caused energy prices to plummet – crude oil tumbled from a peak of US$147 per barrel in July 2008 to around US$30 in early 2009 before rising to US$80 as of June 2010. This has brought various impacts on energy-reliant economies, with Kuwait and the UAE the worst affected. 

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