GCC cashes in during record-setting year

The IMF says the UAE recorded the highest real growth in 2006 (AFP)


The region’s oil producers are expected to earn $320 billion (Dh1.1 trillion) from crude exports in 2007 in what will go down as a record year for the industry, according to the London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES).

According to figures obtained by Business 24|7 from CGES and the International Energy Agency, the GCC earned a record $305.5bn (Dh1.1trn) in 2006 and the income is expected to climb even higher this year and will continue to rise into 2008 because of a projected surge in prices.

Despite a weakening dollar and the turmoil in markets, the outlook remained positive at the GCC Summit in Doha and the Opec meeting in Abu Dhabi last week.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other global strategic centres, the six GCC countries that concluded their annual two-day summit in Qatar on December 4 are thriving on the record crude output of 15.5 million barrels per day (mbpd).

The GCC alone controls more than 45 per cent of the world’s oil resources.

Meanwhile, the UAE hosted the 146th Extraordinary Meeting of the Opec Conference the day after the Doha summit drew to a close. Ecuador rejoined the organisation after a 15-year absence, and strengthened the membership to 13 oil-producing nations. It had dropped out of Opec following an economic crisis.

Oil on the international market stood at $90 a barrel last week, while 2007 saw an average price of $67.

Figures show Opec’s oil income for the period is projected to be the highest at $565bn (Dh2trn) as compared to $511bn (Dh1.8trn)

in 2006.


Apart from Iraq, which has no official quota, other participants decided to keep the official output level at 27.5mbpd.

By comparison, the daily average Opec output in October this year was 31.2mbpd and 31.5mbpd.

The IMF said the surge in oil prices has brought more prosperity to the Gulf.

However, it said in a report: “Despite such a boom, the GCC governments need to press ahead with reforms to diversify their economies and ensure sustainable growth in the long term.”

The CGES said in a report: “The oil export earnings of the six GCC countries are expected to climb to their highest level of $320.7bn (Dh1.1trn) this year and $361.3bn (Dh1.3trn) in 2008.

According to the IMF, the UAE recorded the highest real growth in the GCC in 2006, with its gross domestic product increasing by 9.7 per cent.

Bahrain saw 7.7 per cent growth, Qatar 8.8 per cent, Oman 5.9 per cent, Kuwait 5.0 per cent and Saudi Arabia 4.6 per cent.

 

The numbers

$320.7 - Amount in billions earned in crude sales

15.5 - Million of barrels a day of crude produced in the region

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