With a population of over 900 million, and awash with natural resources, Africa has been a source of much raw materials needed by outside the continent. The resources that have drawn so much interest to the continent include minerals such as gold, diamond, copper and, very importantly, crude oil and gas. Commercial extraction of crude oil has a fairly shorter history on the continent than that of solid minerals. Whether it is crude oil or gold, their exploitation holds out much hope to local people across the continent but has consistently left them with broken promises, environmental degradation and severe social impacts.
According to the 2008 British Petroleum Statistical Energy Survey, Africa had proven oil reserves of 117 billion barrels at the end of 2007 or 9.5 per cent of the world's reserves and in 2007 the region produced an average of 10.3 million barrels of crude oil per day, making its production 12.5 per cent of the world total. Accounting for 85 per cent of the continent's oil production, the five countries Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Angola dominate Africa's upstream oil production. Other oil producing countries are Gabon, Congo, Cameroon, Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and
Côte d'Ivoire. New exploration is taking place in a number of other countries that aim to increase their output or become first time producers. Included on this list are Chad, Sudan, Namibia, Ghana, Ethiopia, South Africa and Madagascar, while Mozambique and Tanzania are potential gas producers.
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