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Oman's oil output jumps 6.6 per cent in 2010


Omans oil output and exports jumped significantly in 2010 with the countrys oil output rising by 6.6 per cent in the first ten months of 2010 compared to a year ago and oil exports increasing by 10.4 per cent, the latest figures from the Ministry of Economy revealed.

The official data showed that output rose by 261.7mn barrels in the ten months to October, up from 245.4 mn barrels a year earlier. Oil exports jumped 10.4 per cent to 220.2mn barrels, with China, Singapore and Japan among the key markets.

The higher price of crude oil which jumped 42 per cent in the 10 month period helped Oman's state revenues climb by 19.4 per cent in the first nine months of 2010 and saw the country's budget surplus widen to US$1.5 billion. Oman sold its oil at an average price of US$76.38 per barrel in the nine month period.

Oman is a small independent crude oil producer and is not part of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) but the price of its oil forms part of benchmarks used in pricing Middle East crude exported from the Middle East to Asia.

The Oil Minister Mohammad al-Rumhy said Omani oil production stood at 875,000 bdp at the end of November, which is a nine year high, and that the country was aiming for output to hit 1 mn bdp by 2015.

The draft Omani budget for 2011 which the Ministry of Economy projected would see record expenditure reach US$21.1 billion, up 13.2 per cent from the previous year, would be based on increased oil production and greater oil revenues.

The 2011 budget was based on an expected oil price of US$58 per barrel, US$8 more than the price forecast by the government in the 2010 budget, with average daily production of 896,000 bdp, an increase of 26,000 bdp or 3 per cent higher than the 2010 average output.

The official figures showed that oil revenues would hit US$12.8mn, nearly 68 per cent of the total budgeted revenue of US$18.9mn, while gas earnings were forecast at US$2.3mn. Non-hydrocarbon income would be nearly US$3.6mn, around 19 per cent of the total budgeted revenue.