Saudi Arabia expects to earn 46% more from oil revenues in 2017 compared to this year, with expectations of rising global demand combining with the OPEC-led global production cut to push prices higher.
In its annual budget unveiled Thursday, the kingdom said its oil revenues were projected to hit Riyals 480 billion ($128 billion) next year, up from Riyals 328 billion ($88 billion).
The budget did not reveal any details about Saudi Arabia’s oil production plans or targets, nor does it say what price it expects to receive for its oil, though it cited the International Monetary Fund’s estimate of 2017 oil prices at $50.60/b. Oil prices in 2016 averaged $43/b, the budget document said.
Overall revenues for 2017, including non-oil revenues, are expected to rise 31% from 2016 levels to Riyals 692 billion.
With the budget laying out an expenditure plan for Riyals 890 billion ($237 billion), an 8% increase over this year, this means the kingdom will be facing a deficit of 198 billion riyals ($53 billion), down 33% from this year, as Saudi Arabia has had to tap into its reserves to withstand the low oil price environment of the last two years.
“The 2017 budget was prepared in light of developments in the local and global economy, including the estimated price of oil,” the budget document states, attributing the increases in projected revenues and expenditures to energy pricing reforms.
“As the kingdom’s economy is strongly connected to oil, the decrease in oil prices over the past two years has led to a significant deficit in the government’s budget and has impacted the kingdom’s credit rating.”
Total national debt for 2016 was about Riyals 316.5 billion ($84 billion), or 12.3% of projected GDP. (Platts).