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Abstract

World Bank lending for oil and gas started in 1977 and reached a cumulative total of $3.44 billion by the end of 1984. The first heavy-oil project was initiated in 1978 through an engineering loan for the study of Bati Raman field in Turkey. The latest operation, in 1984, was for the Karamay heavy oil deposits in China. Other projects include those in Madagascar, Hungary, and Romania. Though the Bank involvement in the exploration for and the development of heavy-oil resources is recent, its impact has been quite noticeable. Judgment on the economic attractiveness of the pilots/projects must wait another year or two, though early indications show very high returns. Recently drafted Bank guidelines on Bank’s oil and gas lending continue to support Bank involvement in enhanced oil recovery (EOR), particularly pilot development schemes such as heavy-oil demonstration projects. In doing this, the Bank is striving to associate its lending with mobilization of maximum co-financing as well as to attract private equity.

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