Oman’s economy gets a boost from rising gas production
Increased production of natural gas, particularly from Khazzan tight gas project, and higher oil revenues have given a much-needed boost to the sultanate’s economy.
Oman’s nominal gross domestic product (GDP) grew 15.3 per cent in the first nine months of 2018, mainly due to a sharp rise in value of the sultanate’s oil and gas output. The GDP at current prices rose to RO22.98bn during January–September period of last year compared to RO19.93bn in the same period of the previous year, according to statistics released by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI).
Helped by higher oil prices and increased production of natural gas, Oman’s hydrocarbon GDP jumped 46.7 per cent to RO8.53bn in the first three quarters of 2018 from RO5.81bn in the same period of 2017, the NCSI data showed.
The value of Oman’s oil output surged 36.2 per cent to RO6.6bn in the first nine months of 2018, while the value of natural gas output nearly doubled to RO1.93bn from RO969mn in the first nine months of 2017.
Oman’s natural gas production and imports rose 11.8 per cent to 45,721mn cubic meters in 2018 against 40,908mn cubic meters in the previous year. Total oil production marginally increased 0.8 per cent to 357.11mn barrels during the full year 2018, representing an average output of 978,400 barrels per day. Average price at which Oman sold its crude during 2018 rose 35.8 per cent to US$69.7 per barrel from US$51.3 per barrel for the previous year.
In 2019 state budget, the sultanate’s government estimated Oman’s real GDP growth to be minimum three per cent for 2019. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that Oman will become the fastest growing economy in the GCC region this year. The IMF expects Oman’s real GDP to grow by more than five per cent in 2019.
The World Bank also expects Oman’s economy to continue to improve during 2019 due to several factors, notably the recovery of hydrocarbon sector and the increasing production from the Khazzan gas field.
The NCSI data showed that Oman’s non-oil GDP grew 3.4 per cent to RO15.33bn in the first nine months of 2018 compared to RO14.84bn in the same period a year ago.
Among non-oil sectors, industrial activities increased 1.2 per cent to RO4.21bn, while services sector grew 4.1 per cent to RO10.6bn.