KUWAIT, 20th January 2016 (WAM) — The Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries’, OAPEC, crude oil exports went down by US$ 132 billion, about 18.8 percent, to US$ 571 billion in 2014 compared to numbers in 2012, the organisation said on Wednesday.

In its monthly bulletin, quoted by the Kuwait news Agency, KUNA, OAPEC said that in mid-2014, the price of oil was heading downwards after three years of maintaining an average price of US$ 100 per barrel.

OAPEC said that the price of oil had continued to drop since then, with the current price dropping by more than half of its previous rate, settling at around US$ 30 per barrel, “an alarming sum considering that the whole thing occurred within a period of four months.”

The organisation added that a study by the Secretariat-General revealed that the current price of oil in the world market had affected financial resources, economies, Gross Domestic Products, GDPs, and incomes of member states.

Due to the current status quo, a number of member states have decided to take necessary measures to decrease public expenditure and diversify sources of income, said OAPEC, adding that the World Bank is expecting deficits in the general budgets of several OAPEC states due to the low prices, except for Qatar and Kuwait.

It went on to say that a number of member states were heading towards investment in major infrastructure projects while setting aside projects connected with the energy domain until stability was reached for oil prices.

Settling the dispute between producers and consumers will be a key step in bringing the price of oil to a reasonable level that would serve the interests of all involved parties, said OAPEC.

WAM/tfaham/Moran