The six member states of the GCC (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE) have 495 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.
Besides oil, the GCC also has sizeable reserves (1,474 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, accounting for 20% of total proven world gas reserves.
Although Persian Gulf countries hold a vast amount of the world’s oil and gas reserves, their production levels are considerably lower, making these countries important players in the energy market in the future. As an example, Qatar – the holder of the third largest gas reserve in the world – is currently producing 77 mm tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year, making it the largest LNG producer in the world. Production is set to double in a year and go up to the targeted 77 mm tpy in two years.
There is no place on earth that benefits from the global commodity cycle as much as the Middle East, as the local economy is currently oil- and gas-dependent. In recent years, the rise in export revenue due to high commodity prices and the lagging import demand response resulted in a sharp increase in the current account surplus, especially in resource-abundant countries.
As the global economy gets back on track, the GCC countries are enjoying higher revenue and surpluses.