Strong oil prices combined with higher production to push OPEC’s income to its highest ever level in 2012 and the UAE was expected to have remained the second largest earner within the 12-nation group.
From a record high of around $1,026 billion in 2011, the collective crude export earnings of the 12-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries were likely to have climbed to another peak of nearly $1,154 billion in 2012, its highest level since the group was created more than four decades ago.
Figures by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy showed the 2012 income was nearly $128 billion higher than the 2011 revenues. It projected the earnings to remain at a historically high level of around $1,117 billion in 2013 as it apparently forecast oil prices and OPEC’s output to remain high.
EIA gave no reason for the surge in 2012 but analysts attributed it to higher oil prices and output by the organization, mainly crude producers in the Gulf.
OPEC’s data showed the price of its basket of crudes averaged at a historical high level of nearly $109.5 a barrel in 2012 compared with $107 .4 in 2011. OEPC also pumped more oil in 2012 after a surge in Saudi output to around 9.8 million bpd from 9.3 million bpd. Analysts said OPEC’s output remained above 31 million bpd.
EIA gave no country breakdown for 2012 but Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Gulf oil heavyweights are believed to have again netted nearly two thirds of the group’s income.
In 2011, Saudi Arabia earned a record high income of around $311 billion while the UAE emerged as the second largest earner within the group, with around $101 billion compared with nearly $67 billion in 2010.
The surge in oil prices 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 in 2011 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 the war.
The report showed Ecuador, the smallest OPEC producer, earned around $10 billion in 2011 compared with $eight billion.