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Saudi Arabia Makes Rare Bullish Call on Oil in Its 2019 Budget

  • Kingdom sees oil revenue rising 9% to $177 billion next year
  • World’s top crude exporter leads OPEC+ effort to lift prices
A bus transports employees past crude oil storage tanks in the Juaymah tank farm at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and terminal in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia.
A bus transports employees past crude oil storage tanks in the Juaymah tank farm at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and terminal in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
 

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Saudi Arabia’s government expects to earn more from oil next year, an optimism that defies most price forecasts for crude and contrasts with the kingdom’s history of making conservative financial assumptions.

The world’s biggest crude exporter is estimating that oil will average about $80 a barrel in 2019 assuming its production continues at 10.2 million barrels a day and Saudi Aramco won’t increase its allocations to the government, according to Ziad Daoud, Bloomberg’s chief economist in the Middle East. He estimates oil will need to trade above $95 a barrel for the year for the kingdom to balance its budget.