With stock markets crumbling, energy costs soaring to new records, inflation mounting and the world's big developed economies teetering on the brink of recession, it is worth remembering that the outlook is not equally gloomy for everyone. Consider Saudi Arabia: at the moment the Saudis are extracting around 10 million barrels of oil a day from their desert reservoirs. So with crude trading at US$135 a barrel, that means Saudi Arabia is pumping out oil worth more than US$1.3 billion - every day. And Saudi is just one producer. At current prices the six oil sheikhdoms of the Gulf Co-operation Council are together earning export revenues in excess of US$2 billion a day. And as the price rises, so do the receipts. As the chart below illustrates, at US$120 a barrel, oil-exporting countries were together making US$6.8 billion a day. If the price now climbs further, hitting US$150 as some analysts now expect, that amount will rise to US$8.4 billion. And despite all the talk about peak oil, there are few signs the gusher is going to run out any time soon. According to Stephen Jen at Morgan Stanley, at US$135 a barrel, the six states of the Gulf Co-operation Council are sitting on proven reserves worth US$58 trillion. If the price goes up to US$150 a barrel, that figure increases to US$73 trillion. To try and put that into perspective, that's almost 1 1/2 times the combined capitalisation of all the world's stock markets or roughly US$2 million for each and every inhabitant of the Gulf states. As Mr Jen points out, with the oil price into three figures, this all adds up to an enormous transfer of wealth from the rest of the world to a handful of energy exporters. That shift will have a big impact on businesses and financial markets around the world for years to come. For one thing, the Arab oil exporters can hardly spend all their income at home. Although they could certainly use some investment in better infrastructure, their domestic economies simply lack the capacity to absorb much more investment in the short term. Saudi Arabia is already investing some 17 per cent of gross domestic product. The rest of its oil earnings will have to be stashed abroad. As with China's foreign exchange reserves, many of the petrodollars will inevitably find their way into the bond markets, especially the US government bond market. That flow is helping to keep long-term interest rates down. According to Mr Jen, inflation-adjusted, or real, long-term interest rates for developed economies are at a generational low of just 1.35 per cent, down from an average of 3.64 per cent for the 1990s. With more oil money to flow, Mr Jen expects real long-term interest rates to fall further, which in the long run will help support the prices of risky assets like stocks and property. At the same time, oil exporters are also trying to earn better returns on their money by investing directly in riskier assets through sovereign wealth funds. Mr Jen estimates that oil exporting countries' sovereign funds currently have assets under management of US$2.3 trillion. He expects that to swell to US$3.3 trillion in the next couple of years. Financial markets may look gloomy now, but with that much money on the way, they are bound to perk up sometime soon.