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Petroleum Resources and the Economy of Angola - Essay Example

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Common sense could tell us that the effects of petroleum resources on the economy of a nation should be always positive as petroleum is a very precious commodity that a lot of countries strive to discover through their exploration efforts. But reality tells us that petroleum resources could be a curse rather than a blessing as history has shown with the surprising cases of many nations that have suffered the "resource curse" of oil…
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Petroleum Resources and the Economy of Angola
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Download file to see previous pages In this literature review this issue is studied taking a look at the conflictive positions regarding the "resource curse" that have been taken by different researchers along the years. We have to keep in mind that any kind of resource can't be a curse in itself as it is logical to assume. Everything depends on the use we give to a specific resource. In this line of thought it is obvious that ultimately the effects of petroleum resources on a nation have to be positive. Indeed they should be a blessing rather than a curse as we will see in this literature review.
"Even until the mid-(1950s), coal was still the world's foremost fuel, but oil quickly took over. Following the 1973 energy crisis and the 1979 energy crisis, there was significant media coverage of oil supply levels. This brought to light the concern that oil is a limited resource that will eventually run out, at least as an economically viable energy source." (Wikipedia, 2006i).
Petroleum is a finite resource, and besides this fact there are some negative environmental side effects that are valid reasons to discourage its use as the Ecology Center argue among other important facts about petroleum. Let's see:
"No corner of the world is left untouched by the effects of petroleum ex...
Many negative effects are well documented, such as global warming, habitat destruction, and political conflicts over oil supplies. But the petroleum economy extends its often hidden reach into many other aspects of life on our planet. Petroleum, used for transportation, industry, and mechanized agriculture, is the backbone of globalization. Institutions of global trade, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), work hand in hand with oil companies, while militaries provide the armed backup to protect these interests." (Ecology Center, 2003).
The position of Ocean Engineering and Energy Systems (OCEES) favors Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) as an alternative fuel produced by the power of the sea. OCEES points out the negative effects of wars as detrimental environmental consequence of the political conflicts around oil control (OCEES International, n. d.).
One relevant aspect to be considered about the finiteness of petroleum resources is the "oil peak" established by the Hubbert Peak Theory regarding the terminal depletion of all petroleum resources. The Wikipedia states the following about the oil peak and its practical consequences.
"Given past oil production data and barring extraneous factors such as lack of demand, the model predicts the date of maximum oil production output for an oil field, multiple oil fields, or an entire region. This maximum output point is referred to as the peak. The period after the peak is referred to as depletion. The graph of the rate of oil production for an individual oil field over time follows a bell-shaped curve: first, a slow steady increase of production; then, a sharp increase; then, a plateau (the "peak"); and, finally, a steep decline." (Wikipedia, 2006f).
Even though the Hubbert Peak Theory has faced ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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