29 February 2012, Sweetcrude, HOUSTON – Saudi Arabia earned a total of $273.2 billion as revenues from oil and natural gas liquids in 2011, according to a report from the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES).
With a surge in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) basket price to an all-time high of $107/bbl, the report said, the Saudi government in 2011 also realised a budget surplus of almost $82 billion.
This surplus, Saudi Arabia’s second-highest ever in nominal terms, occurred in spite of a $59 billion increase in Saudi fiscal spending resulting from the government’s largesse to attempt to acquiesce its citizens after popular uprisings elsewhere in the Arab world.
CGES said it had predicted a surplus of $55 billion for Saudi Arabia because it was convinced the government’s assumed oil price of $58/bbl for 2011 was far too conservative. CGES instead assumed $100/bbl but was surprised when the OPEC basket price averaged $107/bbl.
Also, the London-based analysts had assumed that Saudi oil production would average 9.13 million b/d last year, whereas the outcome was 9.36 million b/d because of the kingdom’s belated output increase to compensate for the loss of Libyan production.
Besides the $273.2 billion revenues from oil and natural gas liquids, the kingdom’s revenues from nonoil activities and investment income in 2011 were $22.8 billion, resulting in $152 billion in excess of its own annual budgeted revenues.