Muscat: Oman's crude oil and condensate production in May 2018 amounted to 30.03 million barrels, with a daily average of 969,000 barrels, according to the latest monthly report issued by the Ministry of Oil and Gas.
In the meanwhile, the total exported quantities of Oman crude oil in May 2018 have reached 24.18 million, with a daily average of 780,225 barrels.
Sliding by 4.63 per cent month-on-month, the People’s Republic of China imported 73.90 per cent of the total exported quantities of Omani crude oil during May 2018. Similarly, imports by Japan and the Indian sub-continent slipped by 4.21 per cent and 2.89 per cent successively, on a month-on-month basis.
Imports by Malaysia increased by 11 per cent compared to the imported quantities in April, and on the other hand, May's volumes have witnessed a demand for Omani crude by buyers from Myanmar at 13.57 per cent of the total exported quantities.
The positive tendency in oil prices since the beginning of 2018 was reflected in the May trading session by a significant increase in month-on-month settlement prices for the major crude oil benchmarks around the world for July 2018 delivery. The average price for West Texas Crude Oil at the New York Mercantile Exchange amounted to US$69.96 per barrel, up by $3.66 compared with April 2018. The average North Sea Brent mix at the Intercontinental Exchange in London increased to $77.01 per barrel, up by $5.24 compared with the previous month's trading.
With the same trend, the average price for Oman Crude Oil Future Contracts at the Dubai Mercantile Exchange witnessed an increase by 8.90 per cent compared to last month. The official selling price for Oman Crude Oil during May 2018, for the delivery month of July 2018, settled at $74.41, higher by $6.10 compared to prices in April. The trading price ranged between $70.51 per barrel and $77.33 per barrel.
The improvement in crude oil prices in May 2018 was attributed to several key factors that positively affected the prices, including fears before the withdrawal of United States President Donald Trump from the Nuclear Agreement with Iran. Also, the withdrawal of the United States from the international nuclear agreement to curb Tehran's ability to produce nuclear weapons raised fears among investors of the increased risk of conflict in the Middle East, which could hamper oil supplies.
Another factor that affected oil prices was the continuation of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries' production cuts, as these cuts reduce global crude supplies.
The improvement in oil prices was also supported by the decrease in Venezuela's production to half since the early 2000s, and a larger-than-expected decline in US crude inventories.