Muscat – Oman’s budget surplus shrank by nearly 30% to RO791mn in the first nine months of 2023, compared to RO1.123bn surplus recorded in the corresponding period last year, mainly due to a decline in the sultanate’s oil and gas revenues this year.
Total public revenues decreased to RO8.886bn in the January–September period this year, down 16% compared to RO10.567bn registered in the same period of 2022, according to the Fiscal Performance Bulletin published by the Ministry of Finance.
Net oil revenue decreased to RO4.838bn, a drop of 10% compared to RO5.361bn registered over the same period in 2022, mainly due to lower crude prices compared to last year.
Oman’s average oil price stood at US$81 per barrel and average oil production was 1,054,000 barrels per day during the first nine months of 2023.
Net gas revenue also dropped by whopping 42% to RO1.583bn in the first nine months of 2023, compared to RO2.741bn registered in the same period of 2022.
‘This decline (in net gas revenue) is due to the deduction of gas purchase and transport expenses from the total revenue collected from the Integrated Gas Company,’ the Ministry of Finance bulletin noted.
The government’s current revenue slightly increased to RO2.454bn during the January–September period of 2023 against RO2.450bn collected in the same period of 2022.
Spending down 14%
Oman’s total public spending for the first nine months of 2023 decreased by RO1.349bn or 14% to RO8.095bn compared to actual spending of RO9.444bn over the same period in 2022.
Of the total public spending, current expenditure amounted to RO6.177bn, down 13% compared to RO7.070bn registered over the same period in 2022.
During the first nine months of 2023, development expenditure of ministries and government units totalled RO671mn, representing 75% of the total development spending allocated for the full year 2023.
The electricity sector subsidy and oil product subsidy amounted to RO408mn and RO236mn during the first nine months of 2023, respectively. Furthermore, an amount of RO300mn was transferred to future debt obligations budget-item, according to the Ministry of Finance.
By the end of September 2023, the Ministry of Finance paid the private sector more than RO837mn. This reflects the payment vouchers received through the e-financial system, and which have completed the documentary cycle, the ministry said.