Oil and Energy Demand in Developing Countries in 1990

by Charles Wolf, Jr., Daniel A. Relles, Jaime Navarro


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Forecasts energy demands of non-OPEC less-developed countries (NOLDCs) in the next decade, and considers implications for U.S. policies concerning NOLDCs. The forecasted NOLDC portion of world imports in 1990 ranges from 8.3 percent to 34.6 percent. This wide range reflects uncertainty stemming from differences in (1) scenarios for NOLDC economic growth and world oil prices, (2) definition and measurement of variables used in models, and (3) model specifications. The uncertainty may present problems for U.S. policy: NOLDCs' rapid economic growth (a goal of U.S. foreign policy) would increase NOLDC demand for oil and put upward pressure on world oil prices and supplies--a situation U.S. energy policy seeks to avoid. U.S. efforts to encourage "soft energy paths" (one possible resolution of the policy conflict) might be resented by NOLDCs. However, opportunities exist in the coinciding U.S. and NOLDC desires for expanded oil supplies and lower prices.

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