Abu Dhabi's oil breakeven price falls

01 July 2013

Price expected to fall to $95 a barrel this year, from $121 in 2009

Abu Dhabi’s oil breakeven price is expected to fall to $95 a barrel this year, according to a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML).

The emirate’s support to Dubai, banks and government-related entities in 2009 led to a near quadrupling of the breakeven price from $33 a barrel at the eve of the global financial crisis in 2007 to a peak of $121 a barrel in 2009.

Aside from the $20bn loan to Dubai, BAML estimates that sovereign capital contributions to Tourism Development & Investment Company, Mubadala Development Company and International Petroleum & Investment Company totalled AED180bn ($49.3bn) between 2002 and 2012.

Amid falling commodity prices, uncertainty over global oil prices has sparked worries about the profitability of projects in the Middle East. Despite this, Abu Dhabi still enjoys a strong fiscal position.

“The IMF suggests central government subsidies and transfers increased, while capital expenditures were reduced last year, and we expect on-budget capital expenditures to remain in check this year as project execution will largely be carried out by the broader public sector,” said economist Jean-Michel Saliba in the report.

“Aside from the large ongoing housing programme, we expect the repayment by Abu Dhabi banks to the government, of AED17bn in support extended in 2009, to drive down net loan and equity disbursements this year, especially as Dubai likely already drew down the remainder of the balances of its $20bn Abu Dhabi support bond programme.”

The Abu Dhabi Executive Council this year announced the government will be injecting AED330bn in capital projects over 2013-17, including building schemes, housing loans for nationals, as well as transport, infrastructure and diversification ventures.


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