From The Report: Saudi Arabia 2016
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The drop in the price of oil since mid-2014 has had a significant impact on Saudi Arabia, which relies on the stuff for the vast bulk of state revenues – 73% by some estimates – and for around 40% of its GDP. While global demand remains high, the increasing supply of oil on the international market, much of it coming from Russia, US shale oil and Iran, has continued to push prices down. The price of crude in early 2016 was about 70% below its 2014 peak, having declined steadily for a year and a half, from $114 per barrel in June 2014 to $37.30 at the start of 2016. This dropped to a low of $28.50 per barrel in late January before recovering to around $50 as of July 2016. The resulting government budget cuts was one factor that led to discussion of an initial public offering of part of Saudi Aramco, the Kingdom’s state-owned energy giant and the world’s largest crude oil exporter.