The graph above shows oil rents as a percentage of GDP since 1978. Oil rents are the difference between the value of crude oil production at world prices and total costs of production. The volatility of worldwide oil prices results in large fluctuations in the percentage of GDP because of the economy’s reliance upon the petroleum sector. It plunged to 26.5 per cent of GDP in 1985, during the world oil glut and corresponding drop in production.
In 2008, oil rents accounted for 64.5 per cent of GDP, extremely high compared to other nations. Saudi Arabia is looking at ways to reduce its reliance on petroleum and create jobs in other sectors.