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Oman Revenues Climb 19 Percent as Budget Surplus Grows

Oman : 01 December 2010

The opening nine months of 2010 saw the state revenue of Oman jump by 19.4 percent, causing the budget surplus to expand according to recent figures released by the Ministry of the Economy.

Oman is not a part of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) and is considered a smaller producer of crude.  A ministry bulletin noted that the nation’s budget surplus was recorded at 563 million Omani riyals (or $1.46 billion) from January to September of this year, an increase of 14.7 percent over that same period in 2009.

Income within the sultanate hit 5.8 billion Riyals ($15 billion) in those opening nine months, which was a 4.8 billion riyal (or $12.4 billion) increase over last year’s first nine months.

Oman’s budget for 2010 forecasted 6.38 billion Riyals (or $16.5 billion) in revenue with an 800 million Riyals (or $2.07 billion) deficit, all based on oil prices averaging at $50 per barrel.

With oil prices on the rise, many states within the Gulf region that are involved in oil exports have witnessed increased earnings for 2010 at rates higher than most forecasted.

During that opening period of nine months Omani oil sold at $76.58 per barrel on average, which is an increase of 47.7 percent over the amount reported in 2009.

Oman also bumped up their expenditures over that nine-month period, reaching 5.2 billion Riyals (or $13.5 billion), a 7 percent increase over last year’s expenditures in that period.

The policymakers in Oman rely heavily on fiscal policies to steer the state’s economy and the Riyal is pegged to the US dollar.  Civil project spending rose around 12.5 percent to reach 1.6 billion Riyals (or $4.15 billion) and expenditures in defense and security climbed 3.4 percent to hit 1.3 billion Riyals ($3.37 billion).

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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