Most oil producing countries have adopted higher crude prices for their 2013 budgets. As with 2012 budget deliberations, the increase has been spurred on in MENA countries by jumps in expenditure due to the stimulus programs put in place to appease Arab Spring protestors. Higher market prices have also provided encouragement. The OPEC Basket price climbed to a yearly average of $109.45/B last year versus 2011’s $107.46/B (See p20)t. This means OPEC producers will surpass their 2011 record $1 trillion oil revenue jackpot.

The trend to adopt higher prices is likely to continue with those that have still to draft their 2013 budgets, which includes MENA OPEC countries Iran, Kuwait, Libya and Qatar. Of the 17 countries surveyed by MEES (see table) 11 have reported the prices they will use in their 2013 budgets. Of the 11, eight appear to be adopting higher prices, and three have left the price unchanged. (CONTINUED - 771 WORDS)