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Low oil prices hurt Venezuela and Iran - and that’s not such a bad thing
Posted by: McQ on Monday, October 27, 2008

With oil bouncing around at about in the low sixties, there are some anxious OPEC nations out there. But as you'll see in the very instructive chart below, some are more anxious than others:
The following are estimates from Washington-based consultancy PFC Energy of how much various OPEC countries need on average to balance their external accounts.

OPEC Country20002007200820092010
Venezuela26.5481.0190.9699.88102.68
Iran12.4249.7357.3286.3383.31
Saudi Arabia20.5642.8642.8650.7454.26
Kuwait5.6237.9243.5550.3552.07
UAE1.8927.6933.5340.5645.59
Algeria21.2414.2716.8517.9430.85
Qatar15.8517.3814.7610.188.35
All of the Arab nations on the chart can live with oil being at about $50 dollars a barrel. In fact, a couple of them can live very well at that price.

However look at Iran and Venezuela. Venezuela is already in hot water as concerns balancing its external accounts. And that comes amid some unrest at home over diminished services, crime and corruption. The great petro-dollar spigot can't keep up with the spendthrift Hugo's big ideas.
Should oil stay in the area it is now for a protracted period of time, Chavez could be in trouble.

Iran, at the moment, is fine with the price of oil, but it also knows that its external obligations are going to jump significantly next year. It too knows, in the midst of existing economic problems, that if oil stays at the present price level, it too could see increased internal turmoil.

That helps explain why both of those countries are at the forefront of the effort to have OPEC cut production to drive up the price of oil. And, as mentioned earlier today, my guess is they'll be at the forefront of cheating on their oil production limit when it is finally agreed upon. Given the numbers, they really don't have a choice.
 
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Russia has been funding its military and economic resurgence out of expensive oil. Estimates vary, but there seems to be a consensus that less than $80 per barrel will require cutbacks, and that $60 or so will have effects in the civilian economy which the average Ivan in the street will notice and complain about.
 
Written By: Tregonsee
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Some of the price drop and economic turmoit was borne out of Russia’s move on Georgia.

More needs to be made out of that fact to the Russian people.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://

 
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