Gulf oil exports to almost halve in 2015

Exports will drop from around $600bn in 2014 to $350bn in 2015

Oil hit its highest levels this week.
Oil hit its highest levels this week.

Annual oil and gas exports in the GCC are expected to almost halve in 2015 if oil prices are to remain close to their current levels, Trend News has reported.

Exports will drop from around $600bn in 2014 to $350bn in 2015, which will lead to a number of oil-producing economies to post large budget deficits, according to analysts of British economic research and consulting company Capital Economics.

However, large foreign exchange reserves and sovereign wealth fund assets mean that twin deficits can be financed for years to come, the experts said, adding that the Gulf Arab countries are in a much stronger position than other major oil producers to deal with the fall in oil prices.

Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC countries are likely to resist mounting pressure from smaller OPEC members to cut oil production in order to shore up prices.

Oil prices fell to a six-year low in recent months after peaking at above the $100 mark in June last year. After a very weak start in 2015, with crude trading at $45 a barrel, prices have since recovered to around $65.

Crude oil prices hit a 2015 high on Thursday as the situation in Yemen prompted fears over Middle Eastern supply levels.

Crude oil prices hit a 2015 high on Thursday as the situation in Yemen prompted fears over Middle Eastern supply levels,

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