Bahrain: First State to Announce Decline in Oil Sector
2022-10-04 - 1:39 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): While the government of Bahrain announced GDP growth of 6.9% in the second quarter of this year, it noted a decline in oil sector growth by 2.2%. So how did the sector's growth decline as oil prices doubled?
The government announced, through the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, recently that GDP growth in the second quarter of this year amounted to 6.9%, achieving an annual increase considered the highest since 2011, as per the ministry's statement.
The quarterly written report lists the sectors that have witnessed growth such as trade, transportation and communications, hotels and restaurants, and manufacturing industries, but it mentions nothing about the oil sector growth rate.
How could anyone believe that Bahrain has achieved a growth rate of nearly 7% without the oil sector! What resources yielding funds does Bahrain have other than oil and aluminum whose prices have significantly increased due to war conditions in Ukraine?
The most important question is: Has Bahrain sold a single barrel of oil since February 24, 2022, i.e. the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war, at a price of less than $80 or $90?
It is known that the government set the price of oil in the general budget at $55 per barrel, while the average price per barrel during the first half of this year was more than $100, how does the Ministry of Finance record in the cover of its report on the results of the second quarter of the year that the oil sector registered a decline of 2.2%? Why didn't it mention this in the official statement?
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, said the General Authority for Statistics said that Saudi Arabia's real GDP growth rate reached 11.8% in the second quarter of this year, but clearly stated that it was oil prices that led the surge, as they rose 23.1%.
Again, why doesn't the Ministry of Finance publish anything in its statement about oil revenues? Why does it publish the second quarter's performance report as if the report has nothing to do with non-oil revenues, and on the one hand published on the cover of the quarterly report that oil income recorded a decrease of 2.2%, which in fact is not the case? It seems like this vagueness is deliberate misinformation.
What the Ministry of Finance published are figures that fail to mention the main reason for the increase, which is oil prices, and the fact that the published data doesn't mention figures of the oil sector raises question marks, the most important of which is: Where do oil revenues go?
It seems that the authorities forget that Bahrainis know how to write and read well, and most have read the news that the International Monetary Fund predicted Bahrain's oil revenues to rise by 39%, meaning that the state treasury would make $11 billion (4.1 billion dinars) in 2022.
It is good to remind the government of a statement issued by 8 Bahraini political societies last July that said: oil revenues are expected to double to more than BD 3 billion this year, along with the VAT revenues that are expected to reach BD 800 million.