For 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) earned about $404 billion in net oil export revenues (unadjusted for inflation). This represents a 46% decline from the $753 billion earned in 2014, mainly as a result of a precipitous 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. The 2015 revenue total was the lowest earnings for OPEC since 2004.
These net export earnings include Iran, unlike in previous reports. 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, $130 billion in 2015, representing approximately one-third of total OPEC oil revenues.
EIA projects that OPEC net oil export revenues could fall further to about $341 billion dollars (unadjusted for inflation) in 2016, based on projections of global oil prices and OPEC production levels in EIA's June 2016 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). On a per capita basis, OPEC net oil export earnings are expected to decline by about 17% from $606 in 2015 to $503 in 2016. The expected decline in OPEC's net export earnings is attributed to lower forecast annual crude oil prices in 2016 compared with 2015. The price declines are expected to more than offset OPEC's increased production and exports in 2016. EIA's June 2016 STEO projects that OPEC crude oil production will average 32.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2016, 0.8 million b/d higher than in 2015. The OPEC production forecast in the June STEO excludes Gabon's output as its OPEC membership will be effective July 1, 2016.
For 2017, OPEC revenues are projected to be $427 billion, with an increase in forecast crude oil prices, coupled with higher OPEC production and exports, contributing to the rise in overall earnings.
The brief is posted on EIA’s website at: http://www.eia.gov/beta/international/regions-topics.cfm?RegionTopicID=OPEC.
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