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The economic boom continues, fueled by ever-increasing oil prices, but at a steep cost: rampant inflation that threatens economic stability, an increasing income gap that threatens social stability, shortages of skilled human resources that threatens prospects for sustainable economic development, and rising real estate costs that threaten the working class and several industrial and commercial projects. While higher oil revenues enabled these countries to reduce their debt, build massive infrastructure, and invest their budget surpluses in the West, political and economic reforms stalled. Higher oil prices, increasing production capacity and expansion of the petrochemical industries prevented these countries from diversifying their sources of income in a meaningful way. The most striking fact is that record oil prices and revenues have not resulted in new major oil and gas discoveries.
More confident than ever, with oil prices around $140 dollars, huge budget surplus, massive amount of foreign reserves, steady economic growth, and major additions to production capacity...
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