Oman’s economy soars 13 per cent - Emirates24|7

Oman’s economy soars 13 per cent



High oil and gas income allied with strong performance of other sectors boosted Oman’s economy by nearly 13 per cent in 2007, according to official figures.

Analysts expect another good year in 2008 as oil prices are projected to remain high, while Oman has boosted LNG (liquified natural gas) exports and remained locked in reforms aimed at attracting foreign capital and easing reliance on oil sales.

From RO13.73 billion (Dh137 billion) in 2006, Oman’s gross domestic product grew by around 13.1 per cent to RO15.5 billion (Dh155 billion) in 2007, showed the figures by the Omani Ministry of National Economy.

Non-oil sectors soared by 18.3 per cent to RO8.71 billion (Dh87 billion) in 2007 from RO7.36 billion (Dh73 billion) in 2006, while the oil and gas sector swelled by nearly 5.8 per cent, according to the report.

A breakdown showed the industrial sector grew by 14.4 per cent, while there was a growth of 20.3 per cent in services and 4.6 per cent in the farming sector.

“Like other Gulf states, Oman’s economy is recording high growth because of strong oil prices and high public spending,” an Omani banker said.

“This year could be even better because oil prices are higher and Oman will produce more oil.”

Oman, which is not an Opec (Organisation of petroleum exporting countries) member, pumped around 714,000 barrels per day of crude oil, far lower than the 2002 peak of 898,000 bpd. But the country expects output to recover to an average 790,000 bpd this year.

Its liquefied natural gas exports also surged by nearly 50 per cent after the Gulf country completed projects worth $700m (Dh2,571m) to lift output capacity at its LNG plant in the southern port of Sur to 10m tonnes from 6.6m tonnes per year.