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Oil and gas account for 92% of Qatar’s Q1 budget surplus

Offshore exploration Reuters/Amir Cohen
The government has started a $1.8bn programme to drill natural gas exploration wells in the Mediterranean Sea and Nile Delta

Qatar recorded a budget surplus of QAR19.7 billion ($5.4 billion) in the first quarter of 2023, driven primarily by revenue from oil and gas, the finance ministry said.

Total revenue for Q1 2023 hit QAR68.6 billion, of which QAR63.4 billion – 92 percent – was from oil and gas, the state-run Qatar News Agency said, citing the ministry statement.

Non-oil revenue stood at QAR5.2 billion, representing 7.6 percent of the total.

Total expenditure reached QAR48.9 billion, of which QAR 15.6 billion was directed towards payment of salaries and wages and QAR 17.3 billion for current expenses.

Secondary capital expenditure was QAR 1 billion, while major capital expenditure reached QAR 15.1 billion.

The ministry explained that the actual average oil price stood at $82.2 per barrel, higher than the estimated price in Qatar’s 2023 budget at $65 per barrel.

The ministry’s said that 68 percent of the total estimated budget surplus of QAR29 billion had been achieved in the first quarter alone.

The surplus will be used to pay off the public debt, support the reserves of Qatar Central Bank and increase the capital of the sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority, finance minister Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari said.