Putting Khums Aside, Where Do Oil Revenues Go?

2021-10-27 - 7:23 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Official campaigns, measures, and articles are waged against Khums (Alms), a religious rite practiced by the Shiite community, while the wealth that the ruling family has put its hands on remains to be overlooked, even though this wealth concerns Bahraini citizens from Zallaq to Muharraq.

People are kept occupied with questions asking where Khums money goes. None of those who repeat these clichés; however, dare to ask where the oil revenues or electricity revenues collected from citizens and residents go.

Bahrain's crude oil production is distributed between the Bahrain and Abu Sasfa fields at a daily production rate of 195,000 barrels. As for refined oil, the Bahrain-Saudi pipeline transports about 230,000 barrels per day.

Bahrain is seeking to transport 350,000 barrels per day next year through the new pipeline launched by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman nearly 3 years ago.

However, revenues earned from this pipeline are not included in the state budget. The Government refuses to provide any explanation about the amount of revenues from this line and who they go to.

Former MP Ahmad Qarata has already confirmed that pipeline revenues are not included in the state budget. When he asked about those revenues, they said: Don't ask. 

It does not stop at pipeline revenues, as the Government does not provide sufficient information on the surplus of oil revenues. The Government had adopted oil revenues in the last general budget at only $50 per barrel, but the prices changed.

At the time of writing this report, the price of a barrel of oil is $84, a difference of $34 per barrel produced by Bahrain (195,000 barrels per day).

The Government usually refrains from estimating barrel prices when preparing a draft general budget and when preparing the state final accounts. The Government also does not disclose what happens to oil surpluses.

The state's final account is a final inventory of actual income and expenses estimated at the time of preparing the general budget at the beginning of the fiscal year.

These questions are forbidden to be asked in the Parliament, press, and in public space. Thus, they try to keep the public opinion preoccupied with secondary issues, even if they are doctrinal.

Why? Because the ruling family which monopolizes the wealth and decision-making in this country refuses to allow any citizen to ask about the fate of his wealth and that of future generations. According to the ruling family, it is their wealth and the wealth of their future generations. 

At one of the seminars discussing constitutional reforms at the beginning of the millennium, the late Abdullah Fakhro asked for the microphone and said in his Muharraq accent: which constitution are you talking about, the ruling family is stealing oil and you say the constitution?

This intervention should be repeated in Fakhro's voice: What Khums are you talking about, the ruling family is stealing oil and you say Khums?


Arabic Version