MEED magazine considers the rise in oil prices to very high levels and the improvement of oil resources of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries as advantages that resulted from the war between Russia and Ukraine.
An analysis by former editor-in-chief of the magazine Edmund O’Sullivan, said oil exporters in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries can already consider themselves among the winners, as it is expected that OPEC oil production will rise this year, and most of the increase will return to Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE These countries will enjoy windfall gains linked to the Ukraine crisis of at least $100 billion in 2022, which could approach 10% of their projected GDP, reports a local Arabic daily.
MEED reviewed what resulted from the war, which led to the rise in the price of oil above $130 a barrel in early March, noting that there is consensus that it will reach an average of about $100 for 2022, i.e. 50% higher than the expectations of the International Monetary Fund, compared to at less than $70 last year, demand is expected to slow, but it will still be above 100 million barrels per day in 2022.
Unless the war ends quickly, sources say, oil prices in excess of $90 may continue into 2023, boosting growth and export earnings across the GCC.MEED added that Saudi Arabia is the only one of the four countries that has projected a budget deficit this year, and the kingdom may be able to eliminate the deficit and reduce government debt to less than 30% of GDP.
This comes as the European Union intends to reduce Russian gas imports, which means an increase in demand for other sources, and only Qatar can benefit greatly from this development, but not in the near future.
The magazine stated that the influence of the Gulf member states of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on global energy policies is strengthening, and these countries are now committed to the OPEC+ production agreement with Moscow to maintain relations that have developed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Despite the resentment that the United States feels about the refusal of the Gulf states to stand by it, it avoids public disagreement with it, indicating that it is a balancing process that bears fruit for the Arab Gulf states.
At the end of his analysis, the writer believes that this is a horrific year for the Ukrainians, and it is also a bad year for the world as a whole, but the Arab Gulf states are working to ensure that they emerge stronger than when they started.