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Message Subject Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Poster Handle insertfunnyusername
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May 2006 cable, published on September 2011 on wikileaks

One and a half years after oil and gas exploration in northern Mali resumed, those searching for &black gold8 may be on the brink of success. To date, the Malian government has opened approximately 700,000 square kilometers of land to oil prospecting. Recent estimates by Australian-owned Baraka Petroleum, which leads the race for Malian oil, suggest that oil may be flowing by the barrel from Mali no later than 2008. For landlocked and poverty-stricken Mali, oil reserves could mean a considerable economic boost. With oil prospecting centered on Mali's politically fragile northern regions, many see a real opportunity for economic diversification, development and growth. At the same time, however, some have serious doubts about the economic viability of extracting oil and gas from Mali's isolated North and further fear that the discovery of oil could upset the already delicate balance between Mali's central government and the Tuareg populations of the North.

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