Qatar to see budget surplus if oil above $60
Doha, June 1, 2009
Qatar will generate a budget surplus if the oil price stays above $60 a barrel, the Gulf Arab state's oil minister said on Monday.
US crude hit a seven-month high over $68 a barrel on Monday on expectations that the performance of the global economy will improve.
'If these prices (above $60) continue for a long time for sure there will be a surplus this year,' Abdullah al-Attiyah, who is also deputy prime minister, told reporters on the sidelines of an economic conference.
Other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), most heavily dependent on oil revenues, would also feel less budgetary pressure with the higher price, Attiyah said.
'As long as prices remain within this range the budget of GCC countries won't suffer greatly from deficits,' he said.
Qatar's budget was based on an assumed oil price of around $40 a barrel, Attiyah said. Qatar is the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) so it is less exposed than some of its neighbours to oil price swings.-Reuters