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Oman would support OPEC output cuts past March 2018 to support oil prices, according a new report from The Times of Oman. There was no mention of deeper cuts.
The country Is currently cutting 45,000 barrels per day of production as part of a November deal between the bloc and a handful of non-bloc producers to reduce output by 1.8 million bpd.
“Being satisfied with the results of production cuts will be an overstatement,” said Salim al Aufi, the petroleum ministry’s undersecretary. “We would certainly want to see the prices of oil to go higher. We will support any action that will ensure sustainability or improvement of the current oil prices. If extension will secure sustainability or growth in prices, we will support it.”
Oman’s energy sector activities have been minimally affected by the three-year market downturn, the senior official said.
“We haven’t reduced jobs or activities in oil and gas significantly, but instead maintained them. Only small projects have been reduced so even if oil prices go to $60, I don’t see a huge rise in projects as there are a good number of projects still ongoing,” he added.
Despite Oman’s most recent narrative, recent low oil revenues have prompted the government to sell $2 billion in Islamic bonds to balance the national budget. The budget shortfall will total 12 percent of GDP in 2017, compared to 21 percent last year.
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Last year, Oman’s production exceeded for the first time the average of 1 million bpd, reaching 1,004,300 bpd—an increase of 2.6 percent, the Times of Oman reports, quoting data by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
In the first six months of this year—the initial period in which the production cuts were in force—Oman’s target production was 970,000 bpd, al Aufi said earlier this year.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…