“Duncan Clarke is quite right: thanks to impressive oil deposits there exists today “an Afrique utile”. African oil comprises 12.5 per cent of global output – significantly less than the Middle East’s 30 per cent – but a glance at recent statistics demonstrates how the author of Crude Continent can insist Africa has become “the world’s greatest frontier in oil exploration”. The United States, for example, wants a quarter of its crude imports to come from Africa within the next six years; already, Algeria, Angola and Nigeria combined supply almost 20 per cent. In 2007, almost a third of Chinese oil imports came from Africa, with Angola overtaking Saudi Arabia as the Asian giant’s number one supplier. A wide array of other countries, including some you probably never knew existed such as the Republic of Tatarstan, are investing in African oil. Add to that the flood of 500 companies from around the globe currently scrambling for Africa’s dark sticky stuff, and you start to get an idea of what “useful” means…”
My latest book review will earn me another enemy, I fear.