OPEC increases its revenues by 32%: EIA

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) earned about $711 billion in net oil export revenues in 2018, increased by 32 per cent from the $538 billion earned in 2017, mainly as a result of the increase in average annual crude oil prices during the year and a slight increase in OPEC net oil exports.

Saudi Arabia accounted for the largest share of total OPEC earnings, $237 billion in 2018, representing one-third of total OPEC oil revenues, EIA said. Iraq and the United Arab Emirates are the second and third highest-earning countries with $91 billion and $74 billion respectively.

Despite the US re-imposing sanctions on Iran in November 2018, Iran also increased its net revenue from $55 billion in 2017 to $67 billion in 2018.

Venezuela was the only country that saw its petroleum export revenue decrease in the previous year as a result of US sanctions. Kuwait had the highest oil revenue per capita at $14,683.

However, revenue is expected to drop to $604 billion in 2019 as both oil production and oil prices drop.

On a per-capita basis, net export revenues are expected to decrease by 17 percent, from $1,416 in 2018 to $1,180 in 2019.

EIA’s August 2019 STEO forecasts that OPEC crude oil production will average 30.1 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2019, 1.8 million b/d lower than in 2018.

EIA expects that OPEC net oil export revenues will decline to about $604 billion in 2019, based on forecasts of lower global oil prices and lower OPEC production levels in EIA’s August 2019 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). For 2020, OPEC revenues are expected to be $580 billion, largely as a result of lower OPEC production, EIA said. 

Shekhar Ghosh is a communications consultant and and former journalist, who has edited and written for publications such as like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today and Outlook.

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