Petroleum export revenues from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached their highest level in almost a decade in 2022, totaling $873.6 billion, a 54% increase from the previous year. The surge in earnings was driven by a combination of Russia’s military aggression on Ukraine, which disrupted energy flows and bolstered crude prices, and OPEC member nations, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, ramping up production to meet the post-pandemic recovery in fuel demand.
The average price of the basket of crude grades typically sold by OPEC nations stood at just over $100 a barrel in 2022, while OPEC’s 13 member states produced around 29.2 million barrels of crude oil per day. These figures, along with sales of refined products, contributed to the substantial increase in the group’s petroleum revenue.
OPEC’s earnings last peaked at approximately $1.2 trillion in 2012, before the advent of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which led to a surge in shale-oil production in the United States and subsequently triggered a market crash. In response, Saudi Arabia and Russia formed the OPEC+ coalition in 2016, uniting to stabilize oil prices and manage global oil production.
The significant rise in petroleum export revenues for OPEC in 2022 reflects the geopolitical complexities that impacted the global energy landscape. The disruption in energy flows from Russia, coupled with increased production from key OPEC members, led to a boost in crude prices and overall earnings. However, it also highlights the vulnerability of the energy market to geopolitical tensions and the importance of collaboration among major oil-producing nations to maintain stability and support the industry’s growth.