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Muscat's oil plans in disarray

The sultanate’s upstream development projects have taken short and longer-term hits

The Omani government is not having a good year oil-wise. The new Opec+ agreement to cut 9.7mn bl/d of production from 1 May requires the adherents, including Muscat, to reduce output by nearly a quarter. The heavily oil revenue-dependent sultanate’s original 2020 budget was based on an average price of $58/bl and more than 900,000bl/d production—which, even then, would have entailed a $6.5bn deficit. With average prices in April being less than half of the government’s assumptions, the new requirement to also slash sales volumes rubs salt in a painful fiscal wound. The impact of both will mean deep spending cuts. And the twin tracks of the country’s upstream policy—to stanch declines at age



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