Amongst the GCC states, Saudi Arabia leads in terms of oil production. Saudi Arabia is considered a crude oil swing producer because it can increase or decrease its oil production output without significantly increasing production cost. As of 2018, Saudi Arabia was the leading crude oil supplier worldwide, with an export value of over 183 billion U.S. dollars. Saudi Arabia’s breakeven oil price per barrel was less than half of its main global competitors, Russia and Venezuela.
The leading oil company worldwide, in terms of daily production volume, is the state-owned enterprise Saudi Aramco. Despite its competitive standing on the global market, the Saudi Arabian government decided in late 2019 to publicly trade about three percent of the company in order to use the revenue to diversify its economy from crude oil. Saudi Aramco’s total asset values are worth around 510.5 billion U.S. dollars, making it one of the world’s most valuable companies.
The United Arab Emirates has thus far been the most successful GCC member state to shift its revenue away from dependence on fossil fuels, having established itself as a tourist destination and a financial hub for the Middle East.
Qatar has diversified from crude oil and as of 2017 is the largest natural gas exporter in the world.