Japan and Myanmar resumed imports of Omani export blend crude oil, accounting for 7.91 per cent and 4.25 per cent respectively of total exports of 23.544 million barrels during the month of February this year, according to the Ministry of Oil and Gas (MOG).
China, however, remained the dominant market for Omani crude, lifting 81.19 per cent of total February exports, which was higher by 2.36 per cent over the previous month. Exports to India, also a key Asian market, dipped 1.9 per cent to reach 6.65 per cent of the total in February.
According to the monthly report, Oman’s output of production of crude oil and condensate amounted to 27.197 million barrels, representing a daily average production of 971,356 barrels in February. Exports averaged 840,869 barrels per day during the month.
Futures trading of crude oil prices witnessed a healthier trading movement during February 2019 compared to January 2019 for most major crude oil benchmarks around the world. The average price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) averaged $55.22 per barrel, which was higher by $4.19 per barrel versus corresponding figures for the previous trading month. North Sea Brent mix averaged $64.43 per barrel on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in London, up $3.46 compared to January 2019.
Similarly, the average price for Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) witnessed a hike by 8.6 per cent compared to the previous month. The official selling price for Oman Crude Oil in February 2019 trading, for the delivery month of April 2019, settled at $64.48 per barrel, up $5.12 per barrel compared to January 2019 trading prices. The daily average trading marker price ranged between $67.22 and $61.19 per barrel during the month, the ministry said.
“The higher prices of crude oil during the trades of February 2019 were attributable to several factors that directly affected oil prices, most notably was the continued decline in the number of US oil rigs, where the number of drilling platforms is a preliminary indicator of the volume of production in the future,” the ministry stated.
“In addition, the impact of US sanctions on Venezuelan exports, which helped to reduce the supply of crude oil, continued to have a positive impact on the prices. In addition, Opec and its associates continued to cut output for six months beginning in January 2019 to avoid a growing surplus especially in light of the American production boom, as well as imposing oil sanctions on Venezuela and Iran. The push for higher prices this month also contributed to the negotiations between the United States and China to settle a trade dispute that undermines global economic growth,” it added.