Prospecting the academic grounds on global energies patterns

Producers of fossil fuels

It is useful to divide the world between net importers and net exporters of fossil fuels products. Since the 60s, the producers have been divided between OPEC and non-OPEC (see the page History for further details).

Who are the producers, and who are the importers?

Playing with the following World bank’s graphics (1) and (2) make everything clearer. A useful improvement of those graphics should calculate the imports as % energy use per inhabitant. (that is we would weight the countries by their relative population to account for the fact that an unpopulous country doesn’t consume the energies resources it holds.)

The OPEC countries […]

Similar economic characteristics have been observed among the exporters. Mineral resources constitute a rent as described in the section Rentier States and frequently annihilate the efforts for developing parallel industries. Oil producers usually rely heavily on fossil fuels revenues. (Dutch Disease)

Beside this recurrent lack of economic diversification, by a quick browsing of fossil fuels producers, the usual confiscation of the oil revenues by a minority would not go unnoticed. As well-documented in “The scramble for African oil” by D. Yates, most African oil producers exhibit

  • lack of transparency
  • poor social development
  • recurrent conflicts over control of the resources

Some authors have attempted to measure the relationship between oil price cycles and the quality of democratic institutions in resources mineral-rich countries (Ross, 2003). They pin down different types of perverse effects generated by the abundance of mineral resources:

  •  It generates excessive government spending
  • Formation of pressure groups and capturing the state resources

Others have exhibited an inverse correlation between oil prices – and degree of freedom (corruption) in some countries.

Yet the use of fossil fuels revenues is not homogenous across the globe, this hoarding of fossil fuel revenues, high corruption and run over democracy (manipulated or confiscated elections- limited press freedom- …) do not characterize all energy producers. In the section Use of the fossil fuels revenues examples of fairer redistribution of  resource revenues will be depicted.


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