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2.2 Sectoral performance III: Economic Report on Africa 2007
The energy sector
In 2005, Africa’s production of crude oil averaged 8856 million barrels per day,
which was 6.1 per cent higher than the 2004 average. Algeria, Angola, Libya, and
Nigeria are the main oil producers, with a share averaging 75 per cent in 2005.
Other oil producers are Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Equatorial
Guinea, Gabon, Mauritania, Sudan, and Tunisia.
As far as natural gas is concerned, Africa’s production in 2005 averaged 171,735
million standard cubic metres, which represented an increase of 13.1 per cent from
2004. This raised Africa’s share in world gas production from 5.5 per cent in 2004
to 6.1 per cent in 2005 (table A2.1 in Appendix). Algeria accounted for 50 per cent
of Africa’s total production of gas, followed by Egypt, Libya, and Nigeria, together
accounting for about 44 per cent in 2005. The increase in African production of
natural gas is explained by two main factors. The first is related to the acceleration
of the level of substitution of crude oil by natural gas in the generation of electricity
around the world, which increases the level of global demand for natural gas. The
second reason is the high level of international prices for both oil and gas, which
increased the level of extraction of gas on the continent.
At the end of 2005, African proven reserves of crude oil represented 10.2 per cent
of the world’s total, while reserves of natural gas in Africa accounted for only 7.9
per cent of the world’s total (table A2.2 in the Appendix). Algeria, Libya, and
Nigeria lead in terms of proven reserves with a share of 76 per cent of total African
reserves, followed by Angola, Egypt, Gabon and Sudan with a combined share of
18.4 per cent.
Africa continues to be a net exporter of crude and refined oil products. In 2005,
exports of crude oil reached 6477.6 million barrels per day, which represented an
increase of 1.8 per cent from 2004. However, Africa’s share in the global exports
of crude oil declined slightly from 14.9 per cent in 2004 to 14.5 per cent in 2005.
For refined products, exports grew slightly by 0.8 per cent compared to 2004. This
growth is observed after three successive years of decline in exports of refined products
as a result of the higher growth of domestic demand for these products than for
refining capacity. In fact, in 2005, African consumption of refined products grew by
2.8 per cent compared to 2004 while the refining capacity grew by only 0.5 per cent
during the same period. Five countries dominate the demand for refined products:
Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Libya, and Tunisia, accounting for almost 65 per cent of
the total African consumption of refined products in 2005. Overall, exports of both
crude and refined oil products from the region grew by 1.7 per cent relative to 2004,compared to 4.6 per cent for the world, which shows a continent-wide structural
bottleneck in refining capacity.
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VI. Module III: National, Regional, and International Support
By United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
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The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is the regional arm of the United Nations, mandated to support the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development.
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More from United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
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