A sharp increase in oil prices boosted Oman's crude export earnings by more than 55 per cent in the first quarter of this year and allowed the country to record a high budget surplus, official figures showed yesterday.
From OMR1.02 billion (Dh9.78bn) in the first quarter of 2007, the GGC member state's oil revenues increased to OMR1.59bn in the first quarter of 2008, the Omani Ministry of Economy said in a report carried by the local media.
The surge boosted Oman's total income by 36.5 per cent from OMR1.54bn to OMR2.11bn during the period under review.
But the report said gas revenues dived by about 23.8 per cent from OMR279.4 million to OMR212.8m. It gave no reason for the fall although Oman has completed a $700m (Dh2.57m) expansion project to increase the output capacity of its LNG plant in the southern port of Sur by 50 per cent to nearly 10 million tonnes.
According to the ministry's figures, the surge in the oil
income sharply boosted Oman's budget surplus from OMR463.6m in the first quarter of 2007 to OMR869.8m in the same period. Oman, which is not a member of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, pumped an average 714,000 barrels per day of crude oil in 2007, far lower than the 2002 peak of 898,000bpd. But the country expects output to recover to nearly 790,000bpd this year as it pushes ahead with oilfield development plans.
The price of Opec's basket of crudes has hit record high levels of more than $130 a barrel and has so far averaged nearly $101 this year.