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Economy

Mining

About 65 percent of the world's petroleum reserves and 26 percent of its natural gas reserves are in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. In 1996 these states produced about 26 percent of the world’s oil and 5 percent of its natural gas. The economies of these countries depend almost entirely on these reserves. Petroleum mining and related industries also dominate the economies of Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman, all of which have smaller but still significant reserves. Small populations and the absence of resources besides oil limit the capacity of some states to diversify. Only Iran and Iraq have large populations and significant agricultural resources, and the economies of both states have been ravaged by a combination of foreign wars and internal economic mismanagement.

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