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Oman Sees Increase In Oil Output Despite Less Capital


Oman : 24 September 2010

In the first seven months of this year Oman has seen their oil output climb 61,000 barrels per day to 858,000 bpd

Oman officially reported an increase in their oil production by more than 60,000 bpd in the opening half of 2010, to reach nearly records levels.  This is despite investment cuts in the industry amounting to 19 percent.

In the opening seven months of last year Oman recorded 797,000 barrels per day.  This number climbed to 858,000 bpd from January to July of 2010, up 61,000 bpd, according to the monthly report by the Ministry of National Economy.

Production of gas also jumped to approximately 674 billion cubic feet, up from 620 million cubic feet over the identical period.

Production in both oil and gas rose even though there was a drop in investments flowing into those industries after the level of capital has risen steadily in recent years.

Capital spending seen in the crude oil industry plummeted about 19.6 per cent, from RO358.6 million (Dh 3.5 billion) in January to July of 2009 to RO290.6 million (Dh 2.8 billion) in the same period of this year.

Gas sector investments dropped around 16.3 per cent, from 2009 levels of RO156.1 million (Dh 1.5 billion) to almost RO130.7 million (Dh 1.25 billion).

The rising crude output follows the nation’s targets and comes after Oman embarked on an expansive investment program.  The country is not under Opec and was looking to turn around a declining oil production caused by low rates of field recovery.

Oman put the stamp of approval on a $10 billion program in 2007 set to develop oil and gas resources.  Official estimates put the nation’s current resources at about five billion barrels of oil and 30 million cubic meters of natural gas.

It is hoped that this program will push development and production of oil to the levels previously seen before the declines of recent years were felt.

In 2008 the production increased, growing from 710,000 bpd in 2007 to 756,000 bpd in 2008, a hike of 6.5 per cent.

The official figures for 2009 state that about RO655.7 million (Dh 6.2 billion) was invested into oil and RO295.9 million (Dh 2.8 billion) was sunk into natural gas.

As oil production rose and was combined with sharply rising prices, the oil export revenue for Oman climbed an astounding 954 per cent to hit RO2.84 billion (Dh 27.3 billion) from January to July of 2010, up from 2009 Ministry of Economy figures of RO1.84 billion (Dh 17.6 billion).

Earnings for gas also jumped almost 21.7 per cent from RO366.1 million (Dh 3.5 billion) to RO44.5 million (Dh 4.27 billion).

On the backs of stronger oil prices, Oman joined the ranks of a group of crude-producing Gulf nations that issued record high budgets and continued stimulus packages aimed at cushioning the negative effects of the recent worldwide financial crisis.

According to Ahmed Mecki, the Minister of National Economy, Oman’s 2010 budget assumed an optimistic price of $50 per barrel for oil, higher than the $45 per barrel assumed in 2009.  Mecki noted that spending will reach RO7.018 million (Dh 68.9 billion), which is nine per cent more than the amounts of last year’s budget.

China topped the list of Omani oil importers, taking in 64.4 million barrels (amounting to 304,000 barrels per day) from January to July of 2010.

Landing at 21.8 million barrels (or 103,000 bpd) was Japan, followed closely by Thailand at 21.07 million barrels (or 100,000 bpd).

South Korea used to be one of the leading Omani oil importers, but cut back Omani crude imports dramatically, taking in only 6.9 million barrels (or 32,800 bpd) in the opening seven months of this year.  That was a slash of almost 53.9 per cent.  That nation issued no reason for the drop, but recorded an increase in oil imports during that time frame from Japan, Singapore and China.

Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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