Oman’s revenues soar to $10.8 billion in ’04

MUSCAT — Oman’s revenues rose to $10.8 billion last year from a projected $7.5 billion on the back of high oil prices despite a drop in production, a senior official said in remarks published yesterday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 4 May 2005, 10:58 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 5:03 PM

But Oman, a small non-Opec producer, is accelerating a campaign to diversify its economy and reduce dependence on its fluctuating oil income, National Economy Minister Ahmad bin Abdel Nabi Makki told the Times of Oman.

“The government’s priority is diversification of the domestic economy and creation of new job opportunities for citizens,” he said.

“We are committed to speed up economic diversification to boost foreign and local investment.”

Oman currently produces about 767,000 barrels per day, a drop from past levels, the newspaper said.

According to previously published figures, daily average production in 2003 was 819,500 barrels, down 8.7 per cent from 898,000 the year before.

However, the rise in oil prices not only filled the gap but brought about a windfall of profits last year, the Times of Oman said.

Oman crude realised an average price of $34.42 per barrel last year against the projected price of $21. The economy grew by 12.5 per cent as the government’s public finance account showed a surplus of 1.2 billion dollars in 2004.

Makki said the government was also committed to liberalisation and deregulation, and state-controlled concerns are increasingly being privatised.

Omantel, the Gulf sultanate’s sole telecom service provider, will join the list on May 24 when 30 per cent of its equity will be sold off.

The minister said Oman’s exports rose by 14 per cent in 2004 to more than $13.3 billion, while imports shot up 31 per cent to $8.5 billion.

Oil revenues, forecast at $4.2 billion, grew to $7.5 billion. This raised income to $10.8 billion from the projected $7.5 billion.

Mekki said the government’s seventh five-year plan, to be launched next year, also lays increasing emphasis on ”diversification, financial stability, job creation, integration into the global economy and promotion of research and development.”

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