Muscat: Oman’s crude oil exports fell by 8.7 per cent to 245.19 million barrels in the first 10 months of 2017, down from 268.68 million barrels in the same period last year.
According to official statistics released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the Sultanate produced 294.88 million barrels of crude oil and condensates during the January-October period of 2017, against the 306.26 million barrels in the same period last year. Oman decided to cut its daily crude oil production by 45,000 barrels (or 4.5 per cent) since January this year, in line with an agreement reached between Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and non-Opec members to eliminate a glut in the oil market.
Opec and non-Opec members have decided to cut crude oil production by 1.8 million barrels per day since January 2017. An Opec meeting scheduled on November 30 is expected to take a decision on whether to extend the cut beyond March 2018.
China retained its position as the leading destination for the Sultanate’s crude oil exports during the January-October period of 2017. China imported 172.11 million barrels of Oman Crude during the January-October period of this year, out of the country’s 245.19 million barrel exports. Although there was a 15.8 per cent fall in the Chinese imports, the country constituted 70.19 per cent of Oman’s total exports.
Of late, Chinese refineries prefer Oman Crude, which they procure mostly from the Dubai Mercantile Exchange — the region’s only crude oil trading centre.
Surprisingly, India was the second leading importer of Oman Crude, with the country importing 24.35 million barrels during the January-October period, registering a growth of 509.2 per cent.
This was followed by Taiwan, Japan and South Korea at 17.49 million barrels, 9.55 million barrels and 6.40 million barrels of crude oil, respectively, acccording to the monthly data released by NCSI.
With Sohar refinery’s expanded capacity expected to start operations within a few months, exports of Oman Crude will decline further. The Sohar refinery is in the final stages of commissioning its expansion project, which will raise crude processing capacity by 82,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 198,000 bpd.
Of the total oil production of 294.88 million barrels, crude oil output stood 2.9 per cent lower at 268.99 million barrels in the first 10 months, while the production of condensates slipped by 11.4 per cent to 25.89 million barrels.
The average daily crude oil production edged down by 3.4 per cent to 970,000 barrels in the first 10 months of 2017, against 1,004,100 barrels in the same period last year. However, the average price of Oman Crude surged ahead by 30.2 per cent to $50.6 per barrel in the January-October period, from $38.9 per barrel in the same period last year. The country produced 367.56 million barrels of oil and exported 321.94 million barrels in 2016.