The 2014 oil price crash together with the high spending of the last several years have been draining the Saudi government budget, the World Bank’s latest MENA Quarterly Economic Brief, “Whither Oil Prices?” report said.
The Bank noted that oil accounts for more than 80 percent of government revenues and with currently low oil prices, fiscal deficits are expected to surpass an estimated $118 billion in 2016 (about 16 percent of GDP) and $97 billion in 2017.
International reserves are down by 20 percent, standing at $587 billion as of March 2016, according to the World Bank’s estimates.
At this rate, the Kingdom’s reserves will be wiped out in four years, the Bank said.
Saudi Arabia is the largest OPEC oil producer and exporter. The Kingdom produced 10.308 million barrels per day of oil in June compared to 10.242 million barrels per day in May, according to OPEC’s latest estimates.
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2015 Saudi Arabia earned $130 billion in net oil export revenues (unadjusted for inflation) compared to $247 billion in 2014. In January-May 2016 Saudia Arabia earned $39 billion.
On a per capita basis, Saudi Arabia’s net oil export earnings amounted to $4.124 in 2015 compared to $7.925 in 2014.