Qatar, an OPEC producer, may raise the base oil price in its 2012-2013 budget for the first time in three years.
The country’s finance ministry proposed that the budget be based on an oil price of US$65 a barrel, Finance Minister Yousef Hussain Kamal told reporters at a conference in the country’s capital Doha today.
Qatar based its 2011-2012 and 2010-2011 budgets on an oil price of US$55 a barrel, the state-run Qatar News Agency reported in March last year, citing the finance ministry.
The budget will be “much bigger” than the previous one and may be announced this month, Kamal said in Doha today. Inflation will average 2 percent to 3 percent this year, he said.
Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, relied on oil and gas for 58.3 percent of its nominal gross domestic product in 2011, according to the country’s economic planning board. Crude oil prices have risen 32 percent in London since May 2010.
The country had the world’s fastest economic growth for the past two years, according to International Monetary Fund data, amid rising oil prices and increased gas exports.
Qatar’s fiscal-year budget is typically released by early April and remains in effect until the following March. The finance ministry delayed release of the new budget until as late as June this year because of accounting changes.
Qatar’s 2011-2012 budget, released March 31, 2011, included a projected surplus of QAR22.3bn (US$6.1bn) and a 19 percent increase in spending from the previous fiscal year, Qatar News Agency reported in March last year, without giving the size of the budget. The 2010-2011 budget set spending at QAR117.9bn and included a QAR10bn surplus.
Qatar raised its annual capacity to produce liquefied natural gas to 77m tonnes last year.
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