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Journal of Energy in Southern Africa

versión On-line ISSN 2413-3051
versión impresa ISSN 1021-447X

J. energy South. Afr. vol.21 no.2 Cape Town  2010


Crude oil price hikes and issues for energy security for Southern Africa



Jabavu Clifford Nkomo

International Development Research Centre, Nairobi, Kenya




This paper addresses a number of issues related to crude oil prices, focusing on Southern Africa. It begins by analysing oil price movements from 1970 to 2008, and examines various factors that may have contributed to the sharp rise and fall in prices. A characteristic feature in the oil market is the time lags it takes to react to price changes. A high oil intensity of GDP makes the economy vulnerable to oil price increases, so that countries with a high oil/GDP ratio are harder hit than others. There are two main issues for energy security: first, on whether the potential use of the oil weapon can be taken seriously; and second, how to minimize vulnerability to oil supply shocks by reducing oil dependence and by a developing or enlarging a strategic stockpile of oil.

Keywords: oil price shocks, vulnerability, oil weapon, strategic petroleum reserve



Full text available only in pdf format.




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Received 30 January 2009; 9 April 2010