The US’ Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that oil producers’ group Opec will earn $1.05 trillion in oil revenues in 2012, a year in which crude prices have remained high despite low global economic growth.
In the Middle East, it has been a year of mixed fortunes with major producers such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and the UAE set for record revenues, while Iran earned less due to continued economic sanctions against oil sales in a bid to cripple Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
According to the EIA, Saudi Arabia earned $291bn in oil revenues in the first 11 months of 2012. This means it is highly likely that earnings will exceed the $310bn it earned in 2011. The UAE earned $94bn in the months up until November and will also better its 2011 total of $101bn. Kuwait is also likely to exceed 2011’s total of $84bn as it already posted revenues of $81bn.
Iraq’s oil industry is starting to show a major resurgence with $75bn of revenues already posted in the first 11 months of 2012, already exceeding its 2011 total of $71bn.
The biggest loser is Iran. The Islamic republic’s oil industry has been hit by a wave of sanctions aimed at cutting off its major source of revenue and as a result has only posted year-to-date revenues of $64bn, compared with $95bn in 2011.
The EIA has stated Opec revenues for 2013 will drop to $955bn on the back of lower forecasted global growth figures. The average price for Brent crude will come in at about $111 for 2012, and as long as oil prices remain around $100 a barrel in 2013 all of the region’s major oil producers should be satisfied.