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Oman records RO357mn quarterly surplus as oil income surges

9 May 2022 By GULAM ALI KHAN

Muscat – Oman recorded a budget surplus of RO357mn in the first quarter of 2022 as higher oil and gas prices boosted the sultanate’s revenues.

The surplus will be used to boost economic recovery, enhance development spending and reduce the risks of public debt portfolio, according to the Ministry of Finance. The sultanate’s budget had recorded a deficit of RO751mn during the first quarter of 2021.

Total revenues grew by 66.3 per cent to RO3.025bn in the first three months of this year from RO1.819bn in the corresponding period of 2021, mainly due to higher oil and gas income.

Net oil revenue jumped by more than 70 per cent to RO1.565bn during January – March period of 2022 compared with RO919mn in the same period of last year. Gas revenue surged 124.4 per cent to RO819mn in the first quarter from RO365mn in the same period a year ago.

‘This is due to an increase in average oil price to US$78 per barrel and higher average oil production of 1.025mn barrels per day, compared to average oil price of US$45 per barrel and average oil production of 952,000 barrels per day over the same period in 2021,’ the Ministry of Finance said in its Fiscal Performance bulletin released on Monday.

The ministry attributed the sharp growth in gas revenue to the higher gas prices and an increase in average production.

Moreover, the sultanate’s current revenue also increased 23.7 per cent to RO636mn in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2021.

‘Such increase (in current revenue) is supported by value added tax (VAT) receipts of RO69mn, excise tax of RO24mn and improved collection of government revenue,’ the Ministry of Finance said.

Spending up 3.8%

Total public spending increased by 3.8 per cent to RO2.668bn for the first three months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

At the end of the first quarter of 2022, the current expenditure of civil ministries and units registered almost similar figures of the same period in 2021. Moreover, the public debt service expenditure registered an increase to RO291mn.

The development expenditure of civil ministries and units jumped by 130.8 per cent to RO150mn compared to the same quarter in 2021. Total amount spent represents 13.6 per cent of total development budget allocated for 2022 i.e. RO1.1bn.

Following the decision (issued in November, 2021) to stabilise vehicle fuel prices at October 2021 levels, the sultanate’s oil products subsidy amounted to RO67mn in the first quarter of 2022. The government shall cover the difference resulting from an

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