Oman lost $14b in revenue due to low oil prices in 2015

Business Sunday 07/February/2016 21:52 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman lost $14b in revenue due to low oil prices in 2015

MUSCAT: Oman lost $14 billion worth of revenues in 2015 compared to a year earlier due to low oil prices, official statistics show.
The government produced around 981,000 barrels of crude oil per day last year compared to 943,500 barrels per day in 2014.
Oman sold its oil at an average price of $56.5 per barrel in 2015, which was 45 per cent less than the previous year, according to the National Centre of Statistics and Information (NCSI).
In 2015, Oman based its budget at the oil price of $85 per barrel with a deficit of OMR2.5 billion. The government has not finalised the actual deficit in 2015 but it is expected to be considerable more than the planned one.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has already cautioned Oman to make urgent steps to secure the future of its fiscal budget.
It had urged the government to embark on the long-term economical sustainability plans.
The IMF also urged Oman to cut its wages bills on the public sector. In the Arab Spring of 2011, it encouraged the government to create more economic security for Omanis.
This year, Oman has already shown its commitments by reforming the subsidies with hikes in taxation and fuel prices.
Oman had a fiscal deficit of 15 per cent last year and in 2016 the deficit is expected to be 17 per cent as the low oil price eats into export earnings and blows a hole in the country’s budget.
Central Bank of Oman’s Executive President Hamood Sangour Al Zadjali said earlier that the government is able to absorb the losses from the foreign exchange reserves. He also dismissed speculations that Oman will ditch the dollar peg.
With breaking-even crude oil prices of $75 per barrel for the 2016 budget, Oman will need to dig deep into the reserves to come up with financial discrepancy to wipe out the OMR 3.5b deficit.