The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is set to make a record-breaking $1 trillion in export revenues this year if crude oil prices remain above $100 a barrel, an the International Energy Agency official told the Financial Times.
"It would be the first time in the history of OPEC that oil revenues have reached a trillion dollars," Chief IAEA Economist Fatih Birol told the Financial Times. "It's mainly because of higher prices and higher production."
The possibility of a record-breaking year comes as continued unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, engagement in Libya, and signs of an economic recovery renew debate among policymakers over how to deal with rising global oil prices and their ties to national security.
President Obama will weigh in on the issue today when he speaks about his new four-part “Plan for America’s Energy Security” at Georgetown University. And Republicans and oil state Democrats have argued for expanded offshore oil and gas drilling in light of rising prices and foreign oil dependence.
On Tuesday, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., introduced legislation that expands drilling and the Interior Department said in a report this month that the oil industry isn’t using a large portion of their drilling leases.
The report, along with other energy security concerns, will likely be discussed at Hastings’ Natural Resources Committee hearing this morning, where Bureau of Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) director Michael Bromwich is scheduled to testify on his FY 2012 budget.