Strong oil prices allied with higher production to boost OPEC’s crude export earnings by a whopping $257 billion to an all time high in 2011 and the income is set to break another record, according to official US data.
The income of the 12-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which pumps just over 40 per cent of the global crude supply, peaked at nearly $1,026 billion in 2011 compared with $769 billion in 2010, showed the figures by the Energy Information Agency (EIA) of the US Energy Department.
Its forecasts showed the group’s revenue could break the 2011 record and climb to 1,154 billion in 2012 before slipping to about $1.117 billion in 2013.
A breakdown showed Saudi Arabia, sitting atop a fifth of the world’s recoverable crude deposits, was the largest earner within the 42-year-old OPEC, with its income climbing to a record high of $311 billion from $222 billion.
The UAE emerged as the second largest earner after its oil output swelled to more than 2.6 million bpd in 2011. Its income was estimated at nearly $101 billion last year compared with $67 billion in 2010, Oil prices soared by nearly 50 per cent to an average of $105 a barrel in 2011 and they are expected to remain above $100 through 2012.
The surge boosted Iran’s crude export earnings to $95 billion in 2011 from $71 billion in 2010 while those of Kuwait leaped to $85 billion from $61 billion.
Nigeria emerged as the fourth largest gainer with its income surging to $90 billion from $65 billion. The earnings of Iraq jumped to $71 billion from $49 billion while those of Angola grew to $68 billion from $56 billion.
Algeria netted about $63 billion last year compared with $50 billion in 2010 while the income of Venezuela shot up to $60 billion from $40 billion and those of Qatar to $57 billion from around $37 billion.
EIA’s figures showed Libya was the one odd out as the value of its oil sales tumbled to $13 billion from $44 billion because of disruption in its crude supply due to several months of internal conflict that toppled Muammar Gaddafi.
The report showed Ecuador, the smallest OPEC producer, earned around $10 billion in 2011 compared with $eight billion.
OPEC’s income in 2011 was nearly 77 per cent above the 2009 revenue of nearly $579 billion, around $62 billion above the previous 2008 record of $964 billion and almost five times the 2003 revenue of $223 billion.