Economy

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir faces protests calling for his resignation

Gulf Loses Patience With Sudan

As protests against the 30-year regime of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir enter a third month the reluctance of traditional Gulf allies to provide financial backing leaves him increasingly isolated. MEES, 22 February 2019 More than two months since protests began on 19 December against an increase in the price of bread and other basic commodities, [...]

Sudan & South Sudan oil concessions

Sudan, South Sudan Claim Oil Production Boon, But How Much?

South Sudan’s oil output is up 40% in the past year to 165,000 b/d as a cooperation agreement with Sudan comes to fruition, Juba claims. The figures may be inflated, but any increase in revenue is a welcome boost to two struggling economies. MEES, 8 February 2019 A resumption of production from fields in former [...]

Libya oil infrastructure map

Libya: Fractured Institutions Fail To Distribute Oil Revenue Gains

MEES, 24 August 2018 Libya’s oil production recovered to more than 1mn b/d in mid-August following a collapse to just 400,000 b/d early in July. The reopening of key export terminals in the east of the country has enabled a resumption of production from oil fields in the Sirte basin ( MEES, 13 July ). [...]


Libya government budget and finances H1 2018

Libya’s Financial Black Hole

MEES, 17 August 2018 Libya near-balanced its budget in 1H 2018. But this was ‘thanks’ to chronic state weakness that left spending 21% under budget. Revenues were up with higher oil prices, but non-oil revenue remains abysmal. The UN plans an audit of Libya’s finances in a bid to help tackle corruption. But, if the [...]

South Sudan crude cargo diversions to Sudan were due to stop in June 2018, oil minister Ezekiel Gatkuoth told African Energy

South Sudan signals end to crude cargoes

African Energy, 26 July 2018 In lifting contracts agreed by Juba in early July for crude shipments in August, there is no cargo for Sudan Petroleum Corporation, signalling an end to the diversion of oil cargoes to Khartoum to pay South Sudan’s oil debts. Energy minister Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth said in February that the transfers [...]

South Sudan oil export revenues are at a 3-year high but crippling crude diversions to Khartoum mean Juba's net revenue is negligible

South Sudan Coffers Empty Amid Crippling Crude ‘Diversions’ To Khartoum

South Sudan has diverted crude worth $1.6bn to Sudan in the past three years to pay off arrears in transit and compensation levies. Despite claims to the contrary there appears to be no end in sight to such transfers. MEES, 11 May 2018 More than four years into a civil war that seems as impervious [...]


US has imposed sanctions on 15 oil-related companies in South Sudan

US imposes South Sudan oil sanctions

African Energy, 5 April 2018 The US government has imposed licensing restrictions on South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum, Ministry of Mining, state-owned Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet) and 12 other oil-related organisations. The restrictions were issued on 21 March by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the US Department of Commerce “as part of [...]

Start-up of Timimoun development on Southwest Gas Project heralds record Algeria gas production in 2018

Algeria Gas Set For Record 2018 With Start-Up Of Key Southwest Fields

MEES, 2 March 2018 Algeria’s 2017 gas output was only just shy of record levels set the previous year. With the second of two key ‘Southwest Gas Project’ components starting up this week, the country can expect new records in 2018. The 24 February start-up of output at the Timimoun gas field makes it the [...]

Algeria gas output losses from project delays 2013-20 (bcm)

Delayed Projects To Shave Cumulative 80bcm From Algeria’s Gas Output By 2020

MEES, 14 July 2017 If the Timimoun and Touat projects had come on stream in early 2014, Ahnet at the beginning of 2015 and Reggane North at the beginning of 2016 – targets that back in 2010 looked conservative – and assuming they maintained plateau rates until the end of June this year, they would [...]


Richard Nield talks on CNBC about South Sudan budget

South Sudan budget sets unrealistic expectations

CNBC – 25 July 2014 This is an interview I did on South Sudan’s unfathomable war budget for CNBC’s Closing Bell Africa programme.

South Sudan finance minister Aggrey Tisa

South Sudan draws up ‘War Budget’, but oil production targets unlikely to be reached

African Arguments – 18 July 2014 By the evidence of South Sudan’s budget, presented to parliament in late June, the country’s finance ministry has lost its mind. This time last year, the Government of South Sudan put forward what it described as a “two-step budget” that would boost social services and economic growth “in a [...]

Slow transition holds back Tunisian economy

MEED – 10 January 2013 Two years after the 23-year rule of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali was brought to an end, the recovery of Tunisia’s economy is not going as smoothly as the government might have hoped. On 12 December, Fitch Ratings, one of three major international ratings agencies, downgraded the country’s sovereign ratings. Its [...]


Cereal price rises threaten civil unrest

The Middle East must ensure food supply amid spiking global prices or risk potential civil unrest The current drought-induced surge in global food prices is causing disquiet in the Middle East and North Africa. Memories do not need to be very long to recall that when protesters took to the streets of cities across the [...]

Cairo: as the political crisis continues, the investment climate is suffering

Vital foreign investment into Egypt dries up

6 April 2012 Egypt’s struggling investment climate is having a major impact on the economy A lack of clear political leadership, an uncertain business environment and a struggling economy mean that firms are thinking twice before investing in Egypt. The uncertainty of the business environment has been thrown into sharp relief in recent weeks by [...]

Suez Canal delivers in tough year

The Canal has emerged as one of the few bright spots in an otherwise flailing Egyptian economy, with revenues touching a record high in 2010/11 It has been a testing few years for the Suez Canal. First, a rapid rise in pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and Somalia in 2008 threatened [...]


UAE economic growth to remain sluggish

The continued global economic uncertainty and a new conservative policy in Abu Dhabi mean UAE economic growth is set to slow in 2012 When the global downturn was biting in 2009, economists were gloomy about the outlook for 2010. But the consensus was that from 2011 onwards, economies around the world would gradually start to [...]

Unfreezing of Libya’s assets could take six months

Delays at UN could delay rebuilding work in Libya Releasing frozen overseas assets accumulated by the regime of Muammar Gaddafi could take six months, crippling the ability of Libya’s interim government to fund essential basic infrastructure work, a former UK ambassador to Libya tells MEED. An estimated $100bn of overseas assets have been frozen across [...]

Turkey is leveraging its trade advantage

Turkey is focused on expanding its trade with the Middle East to offset the downturn in the economies of Europe. But imports are growing faster, creating a widening trade deficit The Turkish lands have been the lynchpin of trade between Europe and Asia, ever since the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 sealed the shift in [...]


Sudan prepares for split

Co-operation between the North and the South will be key to economic development. But disputes over oil resources and debt will hamper progress Forty years of civil war in the past half century have meant Sudan has rarely enjoyed the political stability that is vital for economic development. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in [...]

Unrest takes toll on Egypt’s economic growth

The political upheaval and lingering uncertainty in Egypt means a long wait for a return to the strong economic growth that the country enjoyed until the end of 2010 The tumultuous events of January and February that resulted in the collapse of President Hosni Mubarak’s regime have already had a dramatic impact on Egypt’s economy. [...]

Search for justice begins in Egypt

Investigations into alleged corruption by Mubarak’s government is having a severe impact on some of Egypt’s largest industrial and construction firms On 13 April, Egypt’s prosecutor general ordered the detention of former president Hosni Mubarak and his sons, Alaa and Gamal. The news came as a victory for the demonstrators that had remained on the [...]


The scramble for the South

A spate of secret and exploitative land deals may cause instability and more economic hardship in the new state Almost 10% of the land in South Sudan, due to win its formal independence on 9 July, has been sold or leased to foreign and local companies, according to a new report. Foreign investors have signed [...]