(EnergyAsia, July 29 2013, Tuesday) — The export revenues of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), excluding Iran, will continue to fall in 2014 and 2015 to follow through on last year’s 15.9% plunge, said the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

As a result of lower production and weak oil prices, the 12-member cartel less Iran is expected to earn US$744 billion in net oil export revenues this year and US$723 billion in 2015 compared with an all-time high of US$982 billion in 2012. The EIA estimated the cartel earned US$826 billion last year, far below the US$940 billion that it had predicted in July 2013.

“OPEC earnings declined largely for two reasons: a drop in OPEC oil production in 2013 (largely because of the supply disruption in Libya), and a 3% decline in average crude oil prices,” it said.

The US agency, which began tracking OPEC oil revenues in 1975, said it excluded Iran from its latest calculations “because of the difficulties associated with estimating Iran’s earnings, including the country’s inability to receive payments and possible price discounts Iran offers its existing customers.”

OPEC’s members include Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Venezuela.

The EIA said Saudi Arabia earned US$274 billion to account for about 33% of the earnings of the 11 members. Angola and the UAE suffered the biggest earnings decline in percentage terms while Kuwait, Iraq and Ecuador were the only members to register increases last year compared with 2012.

The 11 members reported net oil export earnings of US$2,520 on a per capita basis in 2013.

While the US agency had correctly expected OPEC’s earnings to decline, it was clearly surprised by the extent of the drop in 2013. It was also forced to slash its 2014 forecast to US$774 billion from US$903 billion.

In its 2012 report, the EIA said OPEC’s revenues, which included Iran, reached US$1.027 trillion in 2011. Iran, which has been hit with further trade sanctions for pursuing its controversial nuclear development programme, earned US$95 billion from oil exports in 2011 and US$64 billion in the first 11 months of 2012.

OPEC (excluding Iran) net oil export revenues
US$ billion               Nominal
Source: EIA
2012    2013    2014    2015
Algeria    $62    $60    – –    – –
Angola    $68    $27    – –    – –
Ecuador    $10    $11    – –    – –
Iran    – –    – –    – –    – –
Iraq    $83    $86    – –    – –
Kuwait    $88    $92    – –    – –
Libya    $51    $34    – –    – –
Nigeria    $93    $84    – –    – –
Qatar    $55    $42    – –    – –
Saudi Arabia    $311    $274    – –    – –
UAE    $100    $53    – –    – –
Venezuela    $62    $62    – –    – –
OPEC2014*    $982    $826    $774    $723
OPEC2013**    $982    $940    $903     —

* EIA’s forecast made in 2014 / ** EIA’s forecast made in 2013