‘Steps to stabilise oil prices will have full Oman support’

Business Saturday 20/February/2016 19:51 PM
By: Times News Service
‘Steps to stabilise oil prices will have full Oman support’

Muscat: Oman is committed to supporting initiatives aimed at stabilising crude oil prices if all oil producers agree on a transparent mechanism, a senior official from the Ministry of Oil and Gas said.
“We remain committed to supporting the industry in recovering prices and activities if all producing countries agree to a transparent mechanism for such actions,” said Salim bin Nasser Al Aufi, undersecretary at the Ministry of Oil and Gas. The official made these comments in the wake of six oil producers agreeing on implementing an output freeze.
However, he noted that he is unable to comment on the effectiveness of such a measure since Oman is not party to the discussion among oil producing countries to freeze output.
Output cut
Dr. Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy, the Sultanate’s Minister for Oil and Gas, in January said the country will be ready to cut 5 to 10 per cent of its total crude oil production this year, if other producers were willing to do so the same to stabilise the oil market.
Last week, leading oil exporters—Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—had agreed to freeze output at January levels in an effort to tackle a growing oversupply and help recover prices from their lowest levels in over a decade.
However, Iran, the second-biggest Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) producer before sanctions were intensified in 2012, said it will not join the league in freezing crude output. The sanctions, imposed over Iran's nuclear programme, were lifted last month after an agreement with world powers, allowing Tehran to resume selling oil freely in international markets.
Al Rumhy said Oman’s oil production this year is targeted at around 990,000 barrels per day (bpd). The country’s crude oil production stood at 358.1 million barrels (equivalent to 981,000 bpd), against 344.37 million barrels (equivalent to 943,500 bpd) in the previous year.
However, the average price of Oman Crude plunged by 45.3 per cent to $56.6 per barrel last year, compared with the previous year’s level of $103 a barrel.