UAE extracts crude worth $ 315 bn in 40 years
The UAE has extracted nearly $ 315 bn worth of crude oil from beneath its arid desert land since it unveiled such a
windfall 40 years ago to transform the once negligible tiny oasis into one of the most modern countries, according to
A total of 21.3 bn barrels of crude have been recovered out of the deep in scattered locations since oil began gushing out of the desert and the Gulf waters in 1962, the Ministry of Planning said in its annual economic and social report for 2002.
Production started at a rate of only 14,200 bpd and began its gradual but quick climb in the following years to
exceed 2 mm bpd over the past 10 years. Cumulative output crossed the 1 bn barrel mark in 1970 and surged to 7.1 bn
barrels in 1980. In 1990, it accumulated to nearly 11.9 bn barrels and crossed 20 bn at the end of 2001 before
peaking at an estimated 21.3 bn barrels by November.
Experts estimated revenue figures at around $ 315 bn. They were calculated on an average nominal oil price of $2 between 1962 and 1970 and $ 15 for OPEC's basket of crudes between 1970 and 1990.
Between 1991 and 2001, prices averaged around $ 16 while they are heading for an average $ 22-$ 24 this year,
according to the Paris-based Arab Oil and Gas Bulletin, which belongs to the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting
Countries. Oil reserves were put at a few mm barrels during the first years of discoveries but they were later
massively revised up to several bn barrels. By 1980, recoverable reserves were estimated at nearly 35 bn barrels and
now they are put at 98 bn barrels, nearly 10 % of the world's extractable crude resources.
UAE officials said those reserves are in place as there are vast quantities of hydrocarbons that are embedded at deeper layers and cannot be extracted by present technology. Despite the extraction of more than 20 bn barrels, proven crude reserves have swelled over the past 40 years because of large hydrocarbon discoveries onshore and offshore as a result of massive exploration and development programmes.
Such discoveries also involved natural gas, of which the UAE controls more than 6 tcm to become the world's fourth
biggest gas power after Russia, Iran and Qatar. At present production rates, the UAE's proven oil wealth will last
for more than 110 years while natural gas could be sustained for over 60 years.
Like other Gulf oil producers, the UAE has used its crude and gas wealth to launch one of the biggest infrastructure programmes in history to transform its desert oases into major cosmopolitan cities. Nearly 30 % of that oil wealth was channelled into development, accounting for a staggering investment of around $ 95 bn.