The world oil market has undergone a series of changes that have reduced the share of oil in the global energy balance and, with it, the influence of Middle Eastern oil exporters. In spite of oil’s loss of ground, however, Middle Eastern countries remain at the center of world oil developments. This paper focuses on the developments in the international oil market, the role of Middle Eastern countries therein, and the policy challenges arising from the dependency on oil.
The economy of the Middle East and North Africa improved considerably in 1996, and remained favorable in 1997. This paper, by Mohamed A. El-Erian and Susan Fennell, presents an assessment of the recent experience of the MENA economies and examines prospects for 1998 and beyond.