Oman plans to spend $78bn in five years
Muscat, January 2, 2011
Oman plans to spend RO30 billion ($77.92 billion) in its new five-year economic plan to 2015, including about RO6 billion allocated to oil industry, the Gulf state's national economy minister said on Sunday.
The bulk of spending in the new plan, which runs 2011 to 2015, will go toward roads, hospitals and education.
'The forecast of the plan is to spend 30 billion rials, which is an increase of 113 percent compared to the previous five year plan,' Ahmad Mekki, the national economy minister, told reporters.
Oman, a non-Opec producer, projected average output of 897,000 barrels per day (bpd) under the plan. Last month, Oman's oil minister said oil production stood at 875,000 bpd at the end of November.
Mekki said the five-year plan was based on an average oil price of $59 a barrel. US crude ended the year at $91.38 in New York on Friday, up 15 per cent on the year.
Oman is a small producer, but its crude is used to set the price for around 12 million bpd of crude exports to Asia from some of the largest exporters in the world in the Gulf.
Mekki also said the plan projected average inflation of 4 percent. Oman's annual inflation rate stood at 4.2 per cent in October. Analysts expect inflation to rise in 2011 in all Gulf states except Saudi Arabia, according to a Reuters poll last month.-Reuters