Will Saudi Arabia become an oil importer by 2030?
Arab News | Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg | 9.9.12
THIS was the question asked all of this past week all over the world. Thousands of stories were filed on the topic, following speculation by a Citigroup analyst that Saudi Arabia may start importing oil by 2030. According to that theory, by 2030, Saudi consumption of oil would outstrip production and we could be importing oil instead of exporting it. In other words, the world’s largest oil exporter today would be importing oil by that fateful date!
While such speculation may be mathematically possible, under extreme conditions, it is rather laughable to imagine Saudi Arabia in 2030 consuming all of its oil production, let alone importing oil, because that would be fiscal suicide and economic collapse all in one. After all, in 2011 oil revenue accounted for 93 percent of the government budget. Without revenue from exported oil, the economy would simply grind to a halt. As no country would allow such a fate, one would expect Saudi Arabia to find alternative solutions long before that date.