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Wednesday, 15 June 2011 - Opec eyes record revenues above $1,000bn

The last meeting of the Opec oil cartel ended in disarray. But the collapse will not affect the finances of the group. The earnings of the members of the cartel, from Saudi Arabia to Iran, are set to break above the $1,000bn mark this year for the first time, beating the $965bn peak set in 2008, according to the US government.

The forecast of earnings of $1,034bn this year represents a hefty 32.5 per cent increase from the nearly $780m that Opec earned last year. Even, in real terms, adjusted by inflation, Opec earnings would also hit a record this year and nearly double the earnings level set in 1980 during the second oil crisis.

The US Energy Information Administration, the statistical and arm of the US Department of Energy, on Tuesday published the new estimate, which takes into account higher oil prices for the rest of the year and extra production.