Oman is continuing its policy of stimulating economic growth by increasing government expenditure by 29% to a new record in its 2013 budget, which was unveiled on 1 January under Royal Decree 1/2013. The budget is based on a conservative oil price assumption of $85/B, up from $75/B in 2012, and an average oil output of 930,000 b/d, slightly higher than the 2012 projected average of 915,000 b/d.

But the price of Omani crude in 2012 averaged $109/B, helping to increase state revenue and realize a budget surplus. With oil prices above the $100/B mark Oman is also likely to be heading for a budget surplus in 2013. Last November Oman’s Minister for Financial Affairs, Darwish al-Balushi, estimated the breakeven budget oil price at $104/B (MEES, 30 November 2012). (CONTINUED - 755 WORDS)