Oil in the Gulf States
by David De La Torre
In Keeping it to themselves, The Economist looks at Gulf states who consume oil as well as pump it.
EVERYONE knows why oil prices, at around $125 for a barrel of Brent crude, are so high. The long-term trends are meagre supply growth and soaring demand from China and other emerging economies. And in the short term, the market is tight, supplies have been disrupted and Iran is making everyone nervous.
Saudi Arabia, the only OPEC member with enough spare capacity to make up supply shortfalls, is the best hope of keeping the market stable. The Saudis recently reiterated their pledge to keep the market well supplied as American and European Union sanctions hit Iran. Over time, other producers in the Persian Gulf may be able to pump more. Iraq—and Iran itself—have vast oilfields that could eventually provide markets with millions more barrels a day (b/d). All this is conventional wisdom.
Yet these calculations do not take account of the region’s growing thirst for its own oil. [more]