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Oman’s fiscal surplus quadruples in first half

Public spending meanwhile surged 46% in the first half to 5.76 billion Omani riyals

Gulf News

Dubai: Oman’s fiscal surplus quadrupled in the first six months the year as increased hydrocarbon production and higher crude oil prices more than offset a jump in public spending, the sultanate’s economy ministry said in a report posted on its website.

Oman’s first half fiscal surplus reached 1.606 billion Omani riyals (Dh15.3 billion), up from 386.6 million riyals in the year earlier period, official numbers showed.

Income from gas rose 66 to 837.2 million riyals, while oil revenue increased 35 per cent to 7.37 billion riyals. Public spending meanwhile surged 46 per cent in the first half to 5.76 billion riyals.

Oil production

The report showed that Oman has raised oil production by 23,300 barrels per day to 902,100.

Higher public spending, according to the report, was mainly due to a 76 per cent increase in defence expenses to 1.73 billion riyals in the first half.

Simmering tensions in the region over a possible Israeli attack on Iran and the potential for retaliation has seen many Arab Gulf states ramp up military-related spending.

Oman’s spending on oil production projects more than doubled in the first half to 246 million riyals.

The sultanate had projected a budget deficit of 1.2 billion riyals earlier this year, with record high spending of 10 billion riyals and revenue pegged at 8.8 billion riyals.