What good is an oil sector without oil? How regime security and shorttermism explains DR Congo's (non-)oil sector.

Patrick Edmond and Kristof Titeca
Analysis and Policy Brief 26

• The DRC has major possibilities for oil development, but very little actual development.
• A major barrier is state inaction or blockages.
• These emerge due to regime stability concerns. These are manifests in two key ways:

  1. The sector is a major source of patronage and rent-extraction. These rents are not created through the active production and development of the sector, but through selling access.
  2. Oil sector development is contrary to regime stability: internal geopolitics, regional relationships, and central control over major wealth are threatened by sector development.

• These elements have not only prevented companies from exploration and production, but have discouraged further investor interest.
• Change is unlikely. The disincentives which have blocked development in the past remain strong.

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