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EIA estimates OPEC net oil export revenues of US$433 billion for 2016

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World Pipelines,

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has estimated that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) raised net oil export revenues of approximately US$433 billion (unadjusted for inflation) in 2016. This revenue total is the lowest OPEC earnings since 2004.

The EIA’s estimate represents a 15% decline from the US$509 billion earned in 2015, primarily as a result of the fall in average annual crude oil prices during the year, and to a lesser extent to decreases in the level of OPEC net oil exports.

This 2016 net export earnings estimate includes Iran, which the EIA did not include in reports published between 2012 and 2015. However, Iran's net export revenues are not adjusted for possible price discounts the country may have offered its customers between late 2011 and January 2016, when nuclear-related sanctions targeting Iran's oil sales were in place.

Saudi Arabia earned the largest share of these earnings, US$133 billion in 2016, representing approximately one third of total OPEC oil revenues.

The EIA projects that OPEC net oil export revenues will rise to about US$539 billion dollars (unadjusted for inflation) in 2017, based on projections of global oil prices and OPEC production levels in EIA's May 2017 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). On a per capita basis, OPEC net oil export earnings are expected to increase by about 18% from US$912 in 2016 to US$1112 in 2017. The expected increase in OPEC's net export earnings is attributed to slightly higher forecast annual crude oil prices in 2017 compared with 2016 as well as slightly higher OPEC output during the year.

For 2018, OPEC revenues are projected by the EIA to be US$595 billion, with an increase in forecast crude oil prices, coupled with higher OPEC production and exports, contributing to the rise in overall earnings.


For each OPEC country, EIA derived net oil exports based on its oil production and consumption estimates from the May 2017 edition of the STEO. For countries that export several different varieties of crude oil, EIA assumes that the proportion of total net oil exports represented by each variety is equal to the proportion of the total domestic production represented by that variety.

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