The fall also pushed down Opec’s earnings to around $33bn last month, nearly 40 per cent of its average monthly income last year, said the report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy.
Despite the decline, the UAE remained one of the biggest oil earners in the 12-nation Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries while it was second to Saudi Arabia in 2008, when it netted nearly $89bn.
At that level, the UAE’s monthly average oil income stood at around $7.5bn in 2008, its highest monthly and annual average in current prices.
EIA gave no figures on oil prices and production but according to Opec, its basket averaged nearly $41.89 a barrel in January, slightly higher than the December average of around $38.60 but sharply lower than the average price of nearly $88.35 in January 2008 and the record $131 average in August.
As for production, the UAE is believed to have pumped around 2.3 million barrels per day in January compared to nearly 2.6 million bpd in the third quarter of 2008. Its output is projected to decline further in the next weeks as it gradually enforces Opec’s agreements to trim supplies to support sagging prices.
The figures showed Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, earned only around $9bn in January compared to an average monthly income of $24bn in 2008. Its crude output was also as high as 9.2 million bpd during 2008 while it was estimated at nearly 8.3 million bpd in January. EIA put the oil revenues at about $3bn each in Kuwait, Iran, Algeria and Angola and $2bn in Iraq and Libya.
Opec’s total income was estimated at $33bn in January compared to a monthly average of $80bn in 2008. EIA forecast the cartel’s earnings at around $402bn, slightly higher than its earlier estimate of $387bn but below half the 2008 record revenues of $971bn.
Forecasting an improvement in the oil market in 2010, EIA expected Opec’s income to recover to around $530bn that year.