China boosted its oil imports from Oman by nearly 26 per cent in the first two months of 2013 to maintain its position as the world’s largest customer for Oman crude, accounting for more than half the Gulf country’s total oil exports.
Official data showed Japan, which had been the top customer for Omani oil before it was ousted by China, further slashed its crude imports while India and South Korea imported no crude from Oman in the first two months.
From around 22.7 million barrels (378,000 bpd) during January-February 2012, China’s crude imports from Oman surged to nearly 28.6 million barrels (477,000 bpd) during January-February 2013, the Omani Ministry of National Economy said.
China’s oil imports from Oman in the first two months of 2013 accounted for more than half the Sultanate’s total oil exports of 49 million barrels (816,000 bpd), far higher than the exports of 41.6 million barrels (693,000 bpd) in the first two months of 2012.
Taiwan’s oil imports from Oman also rocketed by 163 per cent to around six million barrels (100,000 bpd) in the first two months of 2013 from 2.3 million barrels (383,000 bpd) in the first two months of 2012, the Ministry said in its monthly bulletin.
The report showed Japan’s oil imports from Oman shrank by 23 per cent to 4.97 million barrels (82,000 bpd) from 6.46 million barrels (107,000 bpd) in the same period.
Oil exports to Singapore also receded by 15.1 per cent while those3 to Thailand edged down by only 0.2 per cent, according to the report.
It showed India’s oil imports from Oman tumbled by 100 per cent to zero from around one million barrels (16,000 bpd) while South Korea also imported no oil in the first two months of this year compared with 383,000 barrels (6,300 bpd) in the same period.
Sitting atop around five billion barrels of oil and 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Oman has been locked in a massive programme to expand its hydrocarbon sector after a sharp decline a few years ago. Oil production tumbled below 800,000 bpd five years ago before it rebounded to one of its highest levels of 950,000 bpd in December. It slipped to 939,000 bpd in January before recovering to 943,500 bpd in February.