Oil prices are satisfactory, says Rumhy

MUSCAT, MARCH 30 – While expressing satisfaction over Oman crude prices, ranging between $65-75, Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhy, Minister of Oil and Gas, expected that the current prices would continue till the end of this year. “The Sultanate is still committed to the ministerial committee agreement on managing the supply of crude oil in the market among Opec and non-Opec countries till the end of the year,” Dr Rumhy said in a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA). According to Dubai Mercantile Exchange, the Omani crude oil price for May delivery reached $66.51 on the last day of trading on Thursday.

The 2019 budget, with a deficit of RO 2.8 billion or 9 per cent of the GDP, is based on an average oil price assumption of $58 per barrel. At the same time, the average price of Omani crude for April delivery has stabilised at $64.48, which is $5.12 per barrel higher than March delivery.  Production of crude oil and condensates amounted to 30.06 million barrels, of which 26.63 million barrels of crude oil and 3.45 million of oil condensates.  The average daily production of oil amounted to 970,300 barrels, with daily rate of 0.3 per cent.

Dr Rumhy said that the Sultanate has completed two years as a member of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, which oversees the production cuts. Regarding the Sultanate’s exit from the committee, the minister said that the decision is part of the Sultanate’s support to the idea of rotation of the committee membership. “Oman has already completed two years as a member of the committee. So it was agreed by Opec secretariat that another country should join the committee,” the minister added.

The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee was formed when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries first formed its alliance with non-members in late 2016, initially consisting of Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Kuwait, Venezuela, Russia and Oman. The committee at its recent meeting recommended cancellation of a planned April meeting. Referring to the investment in an oil refinery in Sri Lanka, Dr Rumhy said that the Sultanate, represented by Oman Oil Company (OOC), is currently considering the feasibility of participation of up to 30 per cent share in this oil project. Sri Lanka said last week that Oman Oil Company had made clear it was interested in taking stake in the new refinery on Sri Lanka’s south coast.