Oct 25 2010
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Oman's oil output at nine-year high
Oman has boosted its oil production to a nine-year high of 875,000 barrels per day as the Gulf country is pushing ahead with an ambitious programme to develop its hydrocarbon sector, a senior Omani oil official has said.
The country, which is not an Opec member, also pumped nearly 97 million cubic metres a day of natural gas in September, an increase of about seven per cent over the same period of last year, said Nassir bin Khamis Al Gashmi, Undersecretary of the Omani Ministry of Oil.
"Oman's oil production stood at around 875,000 bpd in September, the highest level since 2001," he was quoted as saying by local newspapers on Sunday.
"As for gas, Oman's production reached around 97m cubic metres a day in September, a growth of seven per cent over September 2009," he said.
"The current price level also allows the companies to pursue the implementation of their development and exploration plans...if prices dip below this level, these companies might shelve some projects because of higher costs," he said.
The surge in Oman's oil output is in line with its budget targets and is a result of a massive investment programme launched by the government to reverse a steady fall in its oil production in previous year due to lower field recovery rates.
In 2007, Oman approved an ambitious $10 billion programme to develop its oil and natural gas resources, which are officially estimated at around five billion barrels and 30 million cubic metres respectively.
The plan is designed to develop gas deposits and push up oil production to previous levels. Production began recovering in 2008, when it grew by nearly 6.5 per cent to 756,000 bpd from 710,000 bpd in 2007.
Official data showed Oman pumped around RO655.7 million (Dh6.2bn) in its oil sector and RO295.9m (Dh2.8bn) in the gas sector in 2009.
The surge in oil production allied with a sharp rise in crude prices to boost Oman's oil export earnings by nearly 954 per cent to RO2.84bn (Dh27.3bn) in the first seven months of 2010 from about RO1.84bn (Dh17.6bn) in the first seven months of 2009, according to the Ministry of Economy.
Gas revenues also swelled by nearly 21.7 per cent to RO445.7m (Dh4.27bn) from RO366.1m (Dh3.5bn).
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