(AFP RIYADH): Saudi Arabia’s crude oil revenues in 2000 could top $42 billion, or the equivalent of the budget’s total slated revenues, thanks to the high price of crude, a bank report said yesterday.
Saudi British Bank said the kingdom’s oil income would reach 160 billion riyals ($42.6 billion), exceeding the conservative budgetary assessment putting revenues at 157 billion riyals ($41.86 billion).
The bank said it expected total revenues, 70 per cent of which come from crude oil sales, to exceed 200 billion riyals ($53.3 billion) thanks to this increase in oil income.
The government calculated its budget figures around a conservative oil price of some $19 a barrel, well below current prices hovering in the mid-20s.
Further income will serve to plug the deficit of 28 billion riyals ($7.5 billion) forecast in the 2000 budget which could potentially register a 15-billion-riyal (four-billion-dollar) surplus, the report said.
The rise in oil prices in 1999 boosted state revenues to $39.2 billion from $32 billion in 1998. The increase reduced the budget deficit by a quarter, to around $9 billion. –
© Agence France Presse 2000