oa Africa Insight - The energy situation in South Africa

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



The Israel-Arab confrontation during October 1973 served to bring home, more starkly than anything else could, how dangerously dependent the industrial nations of the world have allowed themselves to become on the oil producing states of North Africa and the Middle East. Even before fighting broke out the United States as well as other developed countries were beginning to perceive just how serious an energy shortage could be for the maintenance of their life styles and health of their economies. In the United States, for instance, some industrial plants had to curtail production during the last three winters as a result of a shortage of natural gas. The United States could, however, if she chose to do so, tighten her belt and on a short term basis at least weather an energy shortage. (She is dependent for no more than 15 per cent of her oil and less than eight per cent of her total energy requirements on Middle East and North African oil resources.)

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