Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries earned 642 billion dollars in oil exports during the first seven months of 2008 and are easily on pace to eclipse the total amount taken in from the previous year, the US Energy Department said Tuesday, the dpa reported.
Boosted by high oil prices and increased production, OPEC will likely set another record year in earning on net oil exports. OPEC's earnings could exceed 1 trillion dollars by the end of this year and continue to climb in 2009, according to projections by the Energy Information Administration, the number crunching agency for the Energy Department.
OPEC earned 671 billion dollars in 2007, with Saudi Arabia raking in the most revenue at 194 billion dollars, accounting for 29 per cent of the 2007 total intake.
Oil and gasoline prices have set record highs in recent years, resulting in record profits for oil companies and petroleum-producing states at a time when economies are struggling, leaving motorists to pay at the pump.
US President George W Bush has received minor concessions from the Saudis on his requests earlier this year to increase production to alleviate the high demand pressure on the market. Saudi Arabia has agreed to limited hikes in production, but well below Bush's request.