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Oman’s budget surplus falls to $1.7bn

Oman's net gas revenue reached OMR1.12bn, declining 36 percent year on year Oman News Agency

Oman has posted a budget surplus of OMR656 million ($1.71 billion) for the end of the first half of 2023, a drop of 16.3 percent compared with OMR784 million a year earlier.

Revenue reached OMR6.34 billion in the first half, down by six percent, compared to OMR6.73 billion in the first half of 2022, the state-owned Oman News Agency reported, citing the finance ministry’s fiscal performance bulletin.

However, net oil revenue during the period stood at OMR3.26 billion, up two percent from OMR3.19 billion over the same period in 2022.

The average oil price was $83 per barrel, while average oil production reached 1.06 million barrels daily. Net gas revenue hit OMR1.12 billion, declining 36 percent year on year.

Public spending amounted to OMR5.69 billion, slipping four percent yearly.

The ministry repaid more than OMR507 million to the private sector. In addition, it repaid more than OMR1.5 billion against public debt by the end of the first half of 2023, reducing the total public debt to OMR16.3 billion.

The ministry did not withdraw from reserves as planned in the first six months due to the generation of additional revenue.

In December, Oman estimated 2023 budget revenue at OMR 11.65 billion ($30.34 billion) and expenditure at OMR 12.95 billion, with a forecast budget deficit of OMR 1.3 billion.

Global ratings agency Moody’s upgraded Oman’s outlook to “positive” from “stable” in October 2022, citing elevated oil prices easing the Middle Eastern nation’s debt position over the next few years.

Earlier this year, Fitch and S&P also revised their outlooks on Oman to positive from stable.

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