Oman is looking to privatize 15-20% of state refining and petchems firm Orpic, as it bids to bridge a gaping 2015 deficit. Stakes in other state firms, including subsidiaries of Oman Oil, are also on the block.

Oman’s recently-released 2015 budget projects a record OR2.5bn ($6.5bn) deficit despite a 5% real-terms spending cut. But, unless spending is slashed further, the actual deficit will be much larger. The budget is based on an oil price of around $80/B, MEES analysis indicates (MEES, 9 January), whilst Oman crude is currently languishing at around $45/B, and forecasts of prices for 2015 as a whole center on $50-60/B. (CONTINUED - 634 WORDS)