Opec nations earned as much in the first half of this year as they did in the whole of 2007 - thanks both to record oil prices and record production - triggering a big increase in its spending.
Members of the Saudi Arabia-led oil exporters' cartel took home $645bn (£335bn, €430bn) between January and June, just below the record $671bn they earned last year, according to the US department of energy.
At the current pace, Opec nations would earn about $1,245bn this year, a record.
The recent 20 per cent drop in oil prices below $120 a barrel is unlikely to damp the earnings significantly, as higher output will offset the impact.
Industry estimates suggest that Opec production in July hit a record 32.6m b/d. The current oil price, at $116.53 a barrel, is still higher than the first half of the year's average: $111.1 a barrel.