Saudi Arabia has lagged the U.S. in oil production for the last four years, according to federal data compiled by University of Michigan economist Mark Perry.
Perry created a chart Saturday showing just how far behind Saudi oil production has trailed U.S. production. Rising U.S. production combined with OPEC policies drove crude oil prices down to new lows. Monday, a barrel of oil costs $46.26, while the same barrel would have sold for $109.04 in June 2014.
U.S. oil production, on the other hand, is increasing. The U.S. imported about 60 percent of its oil in 2007, but by 2014, the country only imported 27 percent of its oil — the lowest level since 1985. Rising oil production has reduced demand for Saudi oil abroad too, keeping prices low.
Saudi Arabia can likely handle cheap oil better than other Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) nations, but cheap oil is still devastating the country.
Saudi Arabia is currently expecting a budget deficit of $140 billion — roughly 20 percent of the country’s economy. When compared to its 2013 surplus of $48 billion, the fiscal outlook for the country looks dire. Saudi oil export revenues dropped 46 percent in just a year, and the country is selling bonds for the first time since 2007. The International Monetary Fund warned Saudi Arabia it could go through its fiscal reserves within five years.