Natural Gas Offers Lifeline For Distressed Gulf Oil Giants

Their budgets just don’t add up anymore. Oil-rich Arab nations are in the throes of a deep economic crisis and facing gaping holes in their finances. Saudi Arabia needs the price of Brent crude to rise to $76 dollars a barrel while UAE needs it to hit $69, Bahrain $96, and Oman $87 to balance their books. Save for tiny Qatar, no Arab oil producer can balance its books at the current price of $40/barrel. GCC nations are now facing huge fiscal deficits, with Kuwait’s deficit of ~40% of GDP the highest in the world.

To make matters worse, once free-flowing credit lines have started to shut down for some. A good case in point is Oman, which is struggling to borrow after credit-rating agencies listed its debt as junk. Jordan had to plead to receive a $2.5bn aid package from the Gulf, only half of what it got eight years ago. Meanwhile, no one from the Gulf appears willing to bail out cash-strapped Egypt or Lebanon.

In short, the countries are being forced to take pretty drastic steps.

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Source: Oil Price

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