Oman’s daily oil output hits record of more than 1 million barrels

Oman, the biggest Middle East crude producer outside Opec, posted a record daily oil production last month, exceeding the 1 million barrel a day mark.

The country pumped 1,001,081 barrels per day (bpd) of crude and condensates, up 0.48 per cent from the daily average in June, said the state-run Oman News Agency (ONA) yesterday. Condensate is a light oil that fetches a higher price than normal crude because it is easier to refine.

“The achievement is attributed to the steady efforts by oil and supportive services companies, as well as the hard work by all workers to reduce the loss in production due to regular and irregular maintenance,” said ONA.

Oman exported an average of 796,977 bpd last month, down 12.6 per cent from June because the state-owned Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company burned 900,000 bpd last month. Arabian Gulf refineries usually consume more oil during the hot summer days due to a rise in the use of air-conditioning.

The Oslo-listed oil company DNO, in which the UAE’s RAK Petroleum holds a 40.5 per cent stake, also did not export any Omani crude last month. DNO operates Oman’s only producing offshore fields.

All of Oman’s oil exports this year went to Asia, with China buying 70 per cent of it last month despite a 20 per cent drop in imported oil volumes compared with June.

Oman, which had suffered a decline in production, is trying to shore up its output to make up for the near 50 per cent drop in oil prices that will slash government revenues this year and swing it into a fiscal deficit.

Oil prices have plummeted as Opec fights to maintain market share and continues to pump more oil amid a supply glut. Economic weakness in China and Europe has also trimmed crude demand, while the strong US dollar is hitting oil prices.

Oman’s oil minister, Mohammed Al Rumhy, has criticised Opec’s policy to fight for market share rather than defend prices.

Opec, led by Saudi Arabia, has opted to keep its taps open because it wants to squeeze high-cost producers out of the market.

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Dania Saadi

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