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Ms. Monique Newiak, Mr. Abdoul A Wane, and Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo

Abstract

Governance and corruption issues have taken the center stage in international discussions, especially after the adoption by the IMF in 2018 of a new framework for engagement on governance and corruption. Sound institutions that guarantee integrity in the management of public affairs are critical on the path toward higher and more inclusive growth. Corruption undermines the quality of institutions, weakens the effectiveness of government programs, and compromises social trust in government policies. Indeed, countries around the world that improved their governance systems are reaping a “governance dividend,” and governance-enhancing reformist countries in sub-Saharan Africa include Botswana, Rwanda, and Seychelles. In addition, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Angola demonstrate that important reforms are possible, including in fragile environments. The importance of good governance has acquired even more importance as countries try to introduce policies to fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Special attention to governance in an emergency context, including situations associated with conflict, other health crises and natural disasters, is therefore essential. Innovation and new technologies are critical instruments that policymakers can use in their efforts to improve governance and transparency.

Dmitry Plotnikov
The effect that the recent decline in the price of oil has had on growth is far from clear, with many observers at odds to explain why it does not seem to have provided a significant boost to the world economy. This paper aims to address this puzzle by providing a systematic analysis of the effect of oil price shocks on growth for 72 countries comprising 92.8% of world GDP. We find that, on net, shocks driving the oil price in 2015 shaved off 0.2 percentage points of growth for the median country in our sample, and 0.17 percentage points in GDP-weighted terms. While increases in oil supply and shocks to oil-specific demand actually boosted growth in 2015 (by about 0.2 and 0.4 percentage points, respectively), weak global demand more than offset these gains, reducing growth by 0.8 percentage points. Counterfactual simulations for the 72 countries in our sample underscore the importance of diversification, rather than low levels of openness, in shielding against negative shocks to the world economy.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on the Iraqi oil sector and analyzes the developments and prospects after the twin shock. The Iraqi economy was affected by the two major challenges during 2014—ISIS insurgency and the fall in global oil prices. Iraq’s oil sector has performed well despite the security challenges that emerged after the onset of the ISIS insurgency in June 2014. On average, Iraq earned $97 per barrel on oil exported in 2014. Asia remained the leading destination of the Iraqi oil exports during 2013–14, and its share increased from 50 percent in 2012 to 65 percent in 2014.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

This issue discusses economic developments in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP), which continue to reflect the diversity of conditions prevailing across the region. Most high-income oil exporters, primarily in the GCC, continue to record steady growth and solid economic and financial fundamentals, albeit with medium-term challenges that need to be addressed. In contrast, other countries—Iraq, Libya, and Syria—are mired in conflicts with not only humanitarian but also economic consequences. And yet other countries, mostly oil importers, are making continued but uneven progress in advancing their economic agendas, often in tandem with political transitions and amidst difficult social conditions. In most of these countries, without extensive economic and structural reforms, economic prospects for the medium term remain insufficient to reduce high unemployment and improve living standards.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

This issue discusses economic developments in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP), which continue to reflect the diversity of conditions prevailing across the region. Most high-income oil exporters, primarily in the GCC, continue to record steady growth and solid economic and financial fundamentals, albeit with medium-term challenges that need to be addressed. In contrast, other countries—Iraq, Libya, and Syria—are mired in conflicts with not only humanitarian but also economic consequences. And yet other countries, mostly oil importers, are making continued but uneven progress in advancing their economic agendas, often in tandem with political transitions and amidst difficult social conditions. In most of these countries, without extensive economic and structural reforms, economic prospects for the medium term remain insufficient to reduce high unemployment and improve living standards.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on Iraq discusses medium-term projections for oil production and exports. Constraints to oil export volumes arise from export bottlenecks and technical production issues. Production is held back by technical challenges such as the need for water injection in the southern oil fields and limited supply of electricity, of which the oil industry is one of the main consumers. Export infrastructure has suffered during many years of decay owing to sanctions and wars. The Iraqi crude is priced as an average of a benchmark oil price for 15 or 30 days from the bill of lading.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
In this paper, the statistical appendix lists details regarding the supply and use of resources at current prices, sectoral breakdown of GDP at current prices, sectoral breakdown of real GDP growth, production export and consumption of oil products, production export and consumption of gas products, domestic prices of main energy products, surface area of main crops, crop yields, livestock, industrial production index, ore production, consumer price index, household income, labor force, employment and unemployment, summary of central government operations, sector, etc.
Mr. Prakash Loungani, Mr. Frederick L Joutz, and Gail Cohen
We present evidence on one facet of energy security in OECD economies - the extent of diversification in sources of oil and natural gas supplies. Viewed from the perspective of the energy-importing countries as a whole, there has not been much change in diversification in oil supplies over the last decade, but diversification in sources of natural gas supplies has increased steadily. We document the cross-country heterogeneity in the extent of diversification. We also show how the extent of diversification changes if account is taken of the political risk attached to suppliers; the size of the importing country; and transportation risk.