TEHRAN, Apr. 21 (Mehr News Agency) - Iran's oil export revenues stood at nearly $9 billion in the first quarter of 2009, according to statistics released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy.
EIA data shows the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries earned $96 billion in Q1 2009 and the figure could reach $476 billion through the year, Emirate Business reported.
In its latest forecast about the group's annual income, EIA massively revised up its earlier projection of $383 billion to $476 billion as it apparently expects oil prices to firm up in the second half on OPEC's output cuts. But the revenues would still be less than half the $970 billion netted by OPEC in 2009, when it pumped at one of its highest levels and crude prices climbed to a record high average of nearly $100 a barrel.
OPEC's revenues in the first quarter of 2009 were also sharply lower than its earnings of about $215 billion in the first quarter of 2008.
A breakdown showed Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude exporter, netted $25 billion in the first quarter of 2009, while the UAE and Iran earned $9 billion each.
Kuwait, Algeria and Nigeria earned about $8 billion each while the income of Iraq, Libya and Venezuela stood at $6 billion each.
Oil prices averaged nearly $100 in 2008 but they plummeted to around $40 a barrel in the first three months of 2009.
The price plunge allied with OPEC output cuts to sharply depress members' earnings during that period. OPEC, which pumps just below 40 per cent of the world's crude supplies, has agreed since September to trim production by a total 4.2 million bpd to stop a rapid decline in oil prices because of the global financial crisis.
Expecting an improvement in oil prices, EIA projected OPEC's income to recover to $598 billion in 2010.
While they surged to a record high nominal level in 2008, OPEC's real earnings were as low as $785 billion in 2000 dollar price and could be only around $380 billion this year and $474 billion in 2010, according to EIA.
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