Kuwait braces for biggest surplus in years
Oil-rich Kuwait, which made a record post-Gulf war surplus of 3.9 billion dollars last year, is bracing this year for the biggest surplus in almost two decades thanks to high oil prices, a think-tank said Saturday.
The independent Al-Shall Economic Consultants said that based on the current oil price and production level, Kuwait is expected to post 3.95 billion dollars of surplus during the 2000/2001 fiscal year.
In the first three months of the year (July-September), Al-Shall estimated oil revenues at 4.8 billion dollars and 14.4 billion dollars for the whole year, which was shortened to nine months.
Total revenues in the 1999/2000 fiscal year which ended June 30 reached 17 billion dollars, a post-Gulf War record. If calculated on annual basis, income for the current year is expected to reach 19.2 billion dollars, Al-Shall said.
Earnings from oil which last year hit a new 10-year record with 15.6 billion dollars, are expected to reach 13.2 billion dollars (18 billion on annual basis).
The revenues are calculated on the basis of an average oil price of 27.2 dollars a barrel, and a daily production of 2.2 million barrels, some 100,000 barrels above Kuwait's OPEC quota.
Kuwait's Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries output quota was raised to 2.101 million bpd from October 1.
The emirate's current fiscal year, which started on July 1 and ends on March 31, 2001, was reduced to nine months to bring it in line with an April 1 start. The budget projected a deficit of five billion dollars, on low oil prices. - (AFP)
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