MUSCAT – Central Bank of Oman (CBO) said in a recent report that Oman’s budget surplus hit $4.17 billion during the first half of 2012, up from $1 billion a year earlier, Oman News Agency (ONA) reported.
The CBO report showed that government revenues for the period grew 35.4 percent to $19.14 billion from $14.14 billion a year earlier, while spending rose by 14 percent to $14.97 billion.
The report also showed that the Sultanate’s gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices grew by 18.9 percent to $19.4 billion during the first quarter of 2012 from $16.1 billion a year ago.
According to the statistics, nominal GDP generating from the petroleum sector grew by 25.7 percent, while non-petroleum sector GDP expanded by 12.4 percent in the quarter.
Inflation rate in the small non-Opec oil producer dropped to 3.1 percent during the January-June period compared to four percent a year ago.
Meanwhile, the Sultanate’s total production of crude oil and condensates declined 2.44 percent to 27,925,767 barrels, or 900,831 barrels per day during the month ended July 31, 2012, compared to the previous month.
Total quantities of crude oil exported in July 2012 stood at 22,419,767 barrels, or 723,218 barrels per day, a monthly report released by the Ministry of Oil and Gas said.
Asian markets absorbed the largest proportion of the Omani oil exports. China topped the list of importers of Omani oil during July 2012 by 41 per cent followed by Japan 14 percent of the total exports.
With regard to the movement of oil markets in July 2012, the month has witnessed a significant increase in the oil prices compared to levels of June 2012, with an average price of US crude oil in the New York Stock Exchange (Chicago) $87.96 a barrel, a rise by $5.38 compared to the trading of June 2012. The average price of North Sea (Brent) stood at $102.57, a rise of $6.80 compared to the trading of June 2012.
World crude oil prices in July 2012 trading regained their gains owing to fears of full stops to Norwegian oil production after the failure of trade union talks, the recent problems in the North Sea supplies and continued concerns about Iran and its nuclear program, in addition to the heightened tensions in the Middle East.
On the other hand, the future contracts of Oman Crude Oil at Dubai Mercantile Exchange rose as other varieties in the world according to the aforementioned factors. As trading was between $94.62 a barrel and $103.91 a barrel, the average price of Omani official oil, to be delivered in September 2012, stabilized at $99.47 a barrel. – SG/ONA