Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Saudi Arabia in One Chart

This chart is not for the faint of heart (100= 1981 value).

An interesting observation is that the rig count for Saudi Arabia has followed closely the value of oil exports up to 2009 which means that a constant fraction of oil income has been invested in oil supply development. Petroleum product consumption has followed population growth up to 2004, however it has grown much faster  afterward and this can be explained by a strong economic growth stimulated by high oil prices. Oil Supply is nearly flat since the 90s however oil revenues have increased by 150% since 2004 and Saudi Arabia has enjoyed positive budget surplus since. High inflation (partly due to increasing food prices) and high unemployment around 10% is probably the biggest threat for Saudi Arabia right now.

Data Sources:

IMF: GDP, Inflation, Value of exports (past 2009 is forecast)
BP: Brent prices, consumption, and proven reserves
EIA: monthly crude oil production
Baker Hughes: rig count
UN: population forecast
Ghawar forecast (past 2003 is forecast)


  1. The first thing that caught my attention is that pink line. While stating what is practically obvious, it further reinforces the point that oil consumption has is far above production. With oil supplies in many places getting depleted, we could be looking at a global fuel crisis if nothing is done soon.

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