Oman’s ailing Sultan Qaboos bin Said issued a royal degree this week ratifying the state’s general budget for 2020, demonstrating the government’s continued commitment (at least on paper) to narrowing the deficit through boosting non-oil revenues and cutting state spending.

Muscat is budgeting for $27.8bn in revenues and $34.3bn in spending, but expect both figures to end up higher based on recent trends. On the revenue side, the budget expects (perhaps optimistically) only 72% of revenue to come from oil and gas (based on $58/B and 970,000 b/d production) – down from 75% in 2019 and an average 77% from 2013 to 2019 (see table). As with the 2019 budget (MEES, 4 January 2019), which also plugged in $58/B, higher prices would mean revenue well above budget: Omani crude averaged $63.6/B for 2019, resulting in $21.6bn oil and gas revenues, $2.4bn above budget. (CONTINUED - 651 WORDS)