A surge in oil prices and Qatar’s LNG exports allowed the Gulf country to record a massive budget surplus in the first nine months of its 2011-2012 fiscal year, according to official data. Qatar had projected spending at around QR139.9 billion (Dh141 billion) and revenue at QR162.47 billion (Dh163.5 billion) for its previous fiscal year which ended on March 31, creating a surplus of QR22.53 billion. But the actual balance widened to around QR26.7 billion in the first nine months of that year and could have expanded further by the end of the year. The surplus came after actual revenue reached around QR150.9 billion and is projected to have largely exceeded the budgeted level because of higher oil prices and LNG sales, the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetyary Fund (AMF) said in a report, citing Qatari government data. It put spending at around QR124.2 billion, which is also expected to have surpassed the forecast expenditure by the end of the fiscal year. Qatar has assumed a conservative oil price of $55 a barrel for its 2011-2012 budget but average rude prices have remained above $100. The country, which controls the world’s third largest gas resources after Russia and Iran, has also boosted LNG export capacity to 77 million tonnes per year following the completion of mega projects at its mammoth offshore North Field, home to nearly 25 trillion cubic metres of non-associated gas. Qatar, an OPEC member, became the richest nation on earth in 2011 in terms of GDP per capita because of enormous oil and gas wealth and relatively small population of around 1.9 million.