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While the oil price assumptions of the 2009−2010 budgets of Middle Eastern oil-producing countries remain conservative, differences in price assumptions reflect several geological, technical, social, political and economic factors. Poorer countries continued to assume higher prices than richer countries, with Bahrain, Iraq and Yemen assuming prices above $50/bbl and Kuwait and the UAE assuming prices at $35 and $38/bbl, respectively. Pundits estimate the Saudi budget oil price to be around $40/bbl. It is worth noting that price assumptions are “state secrets,” and all the reported numbers are calculated by various groups and experts. Also, price assumptions have moved downward more than once as oil prices continued to decline in recent months.
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