The Kingdom of Magical Thinking

Robin M. Mills takes a casual look at the Saudi fiscal budget in Foreign Policy.

The article is light on facts and heavy on speculation and supposition, but that may be ascribed to a shortage of reliable data emanating from the country.  I still found it an interesting read, because I have not often come across analyses of the Saudi economy, which given its resources, is much more important globally than one might surmise from its visibility in the global media.

And there are some interesting factoids on its energy inefficiency.

As much as 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil are burned for electricity to meet summer air-conditioning demand, yet Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second-largest city, still suffers frequent power cuts. By around 2026, Jadwa [a Saudi investment bank] projects that domestic consumption will be over 5 million bpd, exceeding exports, which will never again reach their 2005 peak.

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