US Says OPEC To Earn Almost $1 Trillion From Oil
Net oil export earnings from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries were forecast to soar 45 percent from last year's record $676 billion to $980 billion this year and then fall to $880 billion in 2009, when oil prices are expected to be lower, the Energy Information Administration said this week.
That is much higher than the EIA forecast in January for $850 billion in OPEC earnings this year.
On a per-capita basis, OPEC's oil export revenue will jump 43 percent in 2008 to $1,636, said the EIA, which is the US Energy Department's independent analytical arm.
OPEC members are spilling over with cash from strong global oil demand and skyrocketing crude prices, which for US oil topped a record $112 a barrel this week.
Much of OPEC's oil will be shipped to the United States, the world's biggest crude consumer.
US oil demand is forecast to average 20.6 million barrels a day this year. US imports of OPEC oil reached 5.8 million barrels a day in January, the highest level for any month since July 1977, based on the latest EIA data.
The EIA did not make public its oil export earning estimates for individual OPEC members during 2008. But for last year the EIA said the six largest OPEC oil export earners were: Saudi Arabia ($194 billion), United Arab Emirates ($63 billion), Iran ($58 billion), Nigeria ($56 billion), Kuwait ($55 billion) and Algeria ($50 billion).
(Reporting by Tom Doggett; Editing by Walter Bagley)