The UAE netted more than US$22 billion from crude oil exports last year after oil prices surged above US$28 a barrel and the country pumped at one of its highest output rates. Official figures showed the value of oil exports was higher by more than 32 percent over the previous year and slightly above the record 2000 earnings of US$21.6 billion.In a forward to the annual report on the country's economic and social developments last year, Sheikh Humaid bin Ahmed Al Mualla, minister of planning, said the UAE's crude oil sales hit an all-time high of US$22.1 billion last year compared with US$16.6 billion in 2002.He gave no production figures but the UAE pumped more than 2.1 million barrels per day in 2002 while the price of OPEC's basket of seven crudes averaged more than US$28 a barrel, one of its highest levels since the end of the oil boom two decades ago. In contrast, the UAE's income plunged to nearly US$10 billion in 1998, when oil prices collapsed to less than US$10 following a price war among oil producers.
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Mr. Min Byung-Il serves as editorial director and senior writer for The Seoul Times. He was former managing editor and executive director of the Korea Herald. Min has also been serving as resident correspondent for Emirates News Agency (WAM) of the United Arab Emirates since 2001.
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