Muscat: The production of standard grade petrol (M-91) by Omani refineries reached 6.74 million barrels in the first half of 2018, a steep 36 per cent jump over the same period last year, though the output of super grade petrol (M-95) declined by 23 per cent to 5.94 million barrels, according to data released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
The surge in production of standard grade petrol over super grade petrol was supported by a significant growth in demand. The Sultanate has two refineries, the Mina Al Fahal in Muscat and the Sohar Refinery, both of which are owned by Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic).
The NCSI report also showed that gas oil or diesel output between January and June 2018 rose by 26 per cent to 14.82 million barrels, while aviation fuel production surged by 138 per cent to 6.72 million barrels against the same period last year. The production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) also rose by 40 per cent to 3.14 million barrels during the first half of this year.
Of the total production of M-91 grade petrol, the cheapest petrol available in the market, 6.24 million barrels were sold in the domestic market. Domestic sales of M-95 grade petrol stood at 5.63 million barrels, while sales of gas oil or diesel within the country reached 8.27 million barrels from January to June 2018. Meanwhile, domestic sales of aviation fuel oil stood at 2.34 million barrels, while LPG sales within the country touched 1.28 million barrels during the same period.
The production of petrochemicals by Orpic refineries also showed marked growth in the first half of 2018, with benzene output reaching 111,000 tonnes and Paraxylene output rising 20 per cent to reach 327,000 tonnes. The Sultanate's refineries also produced 146,000 tonnes of polypropylene in the first six months of 2018, registering a 17 per cent growth compared to the same period last year, while benzene exports reached 103,000 tonnes and exports of Paraxylene stood at 300,000 tonnes.
Polypropylene exports in the first half of 2018 were up 4 per cent to 114,000 tonnes, compared to the same period last year.