Oil exports fetch Arabs about $3trn in decade

Average daily income is around $821 million.

Crude oil exports have fetched the Arab hydrocarbon producers nearly $3 trillion (Dh11.02trn) in current prices over the past 10 years, an average daily income of around $821 million, according to their official energy group.

Saudi Arabia, the world's dominant oil power, accounted for nearly 43 per cent of the total income, while the UAE emerged as the second largest earner in the region, netting nearly 12 per cent of the total, the 10-nation Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (Oapec) said in a study.

Around a fifth of Oapec's oil revenues were achieved during 2008, which saw the region's income soar to its highest ever level after crude prices climbed to a record high average of around $95 a barrel.

During 2000-2009, the combined crude oil export earnings of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Syria totalled nearly $2.98trn, more than double their collective income of around $1.4trn during the previous 10 years, the Kuwait-based Oapec said.

Saudi Arabia, which controls more than 20 per cent of the world's proven crude deposits, was the top earner, netting around $1.239trn. The UAE, sitting atop nine per cent of the global oil wealth, was the second earner, with around $402 billion. Kuwait came third with an income of about $366bn, followed by Iraq, with around $265bn. Oil export earnings were estimated at about $249bn in Libya, nearly $210bn in Algeria and $141bn in Qatar.

The remaining small producers – Bahrain, Syria and Egypt earned around $42bn, $41bn and $26bn respectively.

Oapec gave no figures for 2009, but estimates of last year's income were provided by the US Energy Information Administration for Opec (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) members while those for the remaining Arab nations were obtained from their budgets.

The report showed the cumulative oil production by Oapec's 10 members stood at around 73 billion barrels during 2000-2009 while the prices of their crudes averaged nearly $40 a barrel during that period.

Despite that massive output, the proven Arab oil resources gained around 22 billion barrels, swelling to nearly 658 billion barrels at the start of 2009 from around 636 billion barrels at the end of 2000.

Saudi Arabia accounted for nearly 40 per cent of the total Arab oil reserves, with around 264 billion barrels. Iraq had the second largest crude deposits at the start of 2009, standing at around 115 billion barrels. Kuwait and the UAE were third and fourth, with nearly 101 billion and 97.8 billion barrels respectively.

The report showed Arab nations netted their highest oil income of around $617bn in 2008 after crude prices hit their peak and production was at one of its highest levels, standing at 22.18 million barrels per day.

Earnings were estimated at around $405bn in 2009 while they stood at nearly $435bn in 2007 and $390bn in 2006. Their income dived to one of their lowest levels of around $77bn in 1998 after crude prices sank to only around $12 a barrel because of a price war among producers.

In a separate report, Oapec said the dollar and high inflation rates depressed the combined Arab oil export earnings by around $118bn in 2008. It showed real revenues, calculated at the 1995 dollar rate, stood at only around $499.1bn.


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