As Iraq appears to be descending into all-out sectarian war, the implications for the oil-dependent economy are huge. Iraq is Opec’s second-largest crude exporter, so markets are already feeling a little jittery, sending crude oil to its highest since September on Friday. Here are five charts showing how Iraq’s economy has developed since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and where its vulnerabilities lie. Read more
Reuters has an interesting interview with the Nigerian central bank chief warning that the government should not count on oil prices of more than $60 per barrel. His comments come as the country’s legislature is currently considering cutting its estimated price of oil from $67 to $55 – which would slash some 15 per cent from the country’s budget, even before cutting estimates for output. Worth a read.
Nigerian central bank chief Lamido Sanusi added his weight on Wednesday to discussions on a review of the 2010 budget, questioning current assumptions both for the price of oil and on domestic output levels. Read more
Oil trades may be denominated in a basket of currencies, rather than the US dollar. Brazil is having a good week, and there are growing calls for IMF reform to go further than that agreed at the G20 Pittsburgh meeting Read more