Middle Eastern states like Saudi Arabia will get a $1.3 trillion windfall from soaring oil prices, the IMF says
- Middle Eastern states such as Saudi Arabia are set for a $1.3 trillion windfall from high oil prices, the IMF said.
- The Ukraine war-driven price jump will deliver the extra money over the next four years, it told the FT.
Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia are set to reap a more-than-$1 trillion windfall from the recent surge in oil prices, according to an International Monetary Fund official.
The region's exporters can expect to pull in a cumulative total of $1.3 trillion in additional oil revenue over the next four years, Jihad Azour said, according to a Financial Times report Friday. That's compared with the level expected before Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.
Oil prices jumped in the wake of the invasion, and Western governments responded with tough sanctions on Russia, one of the world's most important commodities producers.
The price of Brent crude oil has averaged $104 a barrel this year, up from $71 in 2021. The global benchmark shot as high as $139 a barrel after the invasion, though it has since fallen sharply to around $95 as concerns about the global economy have mounted.
Middle Eastern countries are key oil producers and exporters. Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest crude oil exporter, ahead of Russia and the US. Although the tallies vary over time, Iraq is typically fourth on the list, with the United Arab Emirates coming in fifth.
High energy prices have delivered huge profits for Middle Eastern oil and gas companies, which are often state-owned. Saudi Arabia's Aramco saw its profit surge 90% in the second quarter to $48 billion, which analysts believe to be the biggest quarterly profit for any company in history.
Azour told the FT that Middle Eastern states should invest in the future, including to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.
"It's an important moment for them to . . . accelerate in sectors like technology [domestically] as this is something that will allow them to increase productivity," the IMF chief for the Middle East and North Africa said.
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