Gulf oil earnings to touch record $562 bn in 2008

August 21st, 2008 - 5:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Aug 21 (IANS) Oil producing nations in the Gulf will earn a record $562 billion by the end of this year, as oil prices are expected to remain above $100 a barrel, according to a new report.The London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), in its monthly oil report for August, has said the combined oil export earnings of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will soar to their highest level of $562 billion this year even as they pumped at their highest level, the Emirates Business 24-7 newspaper reported.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) comprise the GCC.

“The UAE’s income will swell to an all-time high of $97 billion while that of Saudi Arabia will surge to $307 billion and that of Qatar and Kuwait will peak at $89 billion and $32 billion respectively,” the newspaper, which received a copy of the report ahead of its publication, said.

The income, it added, is nearly $234 billion above their 2007 revenues of $328 billion and more than four times their earnings of $137 billion in 2003.

In 1998, the GCC’s combined revenues plummetted to one of their lowest levels of around $56 billion after oil prices collapsed below $10 a barrel and averaged $12 through the year.

“The revenue forecasts for the Gulf states and other Opec (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) members are based on an average Opec basket price of around $110.8 this year compared with nearly $69 in 2007,” said Leo Drollas, deputy manager of CGES, said in the report.

Giving a breakdown, he said Saudi Arabia’s earnings this year would be nearly 75 percent higher than in 2007 while those of the UAE would surge 67 percent.

Kuwait’s income would surge by around 71 percent and Qatar’s by 68 percent. The revenues of Oman and Bahrain - which are not Oec members - would be rise 70 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

According to the report, Opec’s total income would jump by around 53 percent to a record $1.014 trillion this year from $598 billion in 2007.

Drollas said the forecast was based on a $110.8 oil price and average crude production by the 13-nation Opec of around 32.6 million barrels per day (bpd) compared to 30.7 million bpd in 2007.

Though the figures did not include revenue projections for Oman and Bahrain, the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) said the earnings of those two GCC members are also expected to climb to a record $29 billion and $8 billion respectively.

Iran will be the third-largest earner in 2008 after Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with a projected income of $92 billion, the CGES report said.

Among other Opec countries, Angola’s earnings are estimated at $76 billion, Iraq’s at $71 billion, Venezuela’s at $73 billion, Nigeria’s at $66 billion, Libya’s at $60 billion, Algeria’s at $47 billion and Ecuador’s at $76 billion.

Indonesia, however, would suffer from a deficit of $8 billion because of its surging oil imports compared with around $5 billion in 2007.

According to the report, the four GCC Opec members - UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar - would account for nearly 52 percent of the group’s total income in 2008 compared to 51 percent in 2007.

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