Oman posted its biggest budget surplus this decade in 2007 after reaping more revenue from oil and gas exports as global energy prices surged, central bank data showed on Monday.
The non-Opec oil exporter recorded a fiscal surplus of OMR434.3 million ($1.13 billion, Dh4.14 trillion) in 2007, its largest surplus since at least 2000 and a 10-fold rise over 2006, the central bank said.
Like other states in the world's biggest oil-exporting region, Oman's economy is surging on a near six-fold rise in oil prices in the last six years.
Oman had projected oil at $40 a barrel in its 2007 budget, while the average price of benchmark United States oil was $72.36 last year. All Gulf Arab states calculate their budgets assuming conservative oil prices to avoid the impact of fluctuations.
State revenue grew 16.6 per cent to OMR5.81bn as net oil revenue, excluding funds transferred to a state reserve, advanced 12.5 per cent to OMR3.63bn and gas revenue jumped 32.2 per cent to OMR810.9m. Expenditure in the state that been ploughing windfall oil and gas revenues into real estate, infrastructure and financial services to diversify its economy climbed 8.8 per cent to OMR5.37bn.
Oman, whose $40.3bn economy grew 7.2 per cent in real terms in 2006, expects oil output to increase to 790,000 barrels per day this year from 710,000 bpd in 2007, the oil ministry has said. It also aims to boost gas output by 11 per cent in 2008. Oman said in November it expected to post a OMR400m shortfall in its 2008 budget if its crude oil fetched $45 a barrel on average. (Reuters)