Will the crisis force Europe to step up its presence?

Oil Price Crash Destabilizes Africa, Middle East

Will the crisis force Europe to step up its presence?


When Russia and Saudi Arabia triggered an oil price war on March 6 by refusing to cut production, they started a process which could transform the Middle East, Africa and, eventually, the world.

On February 20, the price of Brent Crude, a common benchmark for oil prices, peaked at $58.80 a barrel. Throughout March, as the oil war between Russia and Saudi Arabia heated up, prices dropped to as low as $26.69. From then on, the price declined to record lows, reaching $19.33 on April 21. On the same day, United States oil prices fell to negative territory. In Canada, oil from the province of Alberta was selling for less than a cup of coffee.

This decline has especially hurt poorer oil-producing nations that were already too reliant on the commodity. The World Bank predicts that economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will fall to –5.1 percent by the end of 2020. "The oil slump could not have come at a worse time for African countries. They are too dependent on oil for revenue," stated an energy consultant based in Angola.


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