The Sultanate of Oman's budget has achieved its largest fiscal surplus in nine years. Following oil and gas price rises on the international markets, the Gulf country has obtained significant revenues that have allowed it to achieve the economic balances necessary to achieve this budget.
The country achieved a financial surplus of more than $2 billion (784 million rials) in the first half of this year, compared to a deficit of almost $3 million (1.1 million rials) in the same period in 2021.
This is largely due to the rise in the average price of a barrel of oil, which increased by 87 dollars from January to March this year. Last year, by contrast, the increase was only $53.
In addition to this increase in the price of a barrel, average production doubled compared to 2021, exceeding two million barrels a day.
All this resulted, according to a report issued by the Omani Ministry of Finance, in the state's oil revenues increasing to more than $8 billion (3.18 billion rials) by the end of the first half of 2022.
The Omani government benefited from these revenues, which multiplied this year, as they accelerated and stimulated the pace of financial growth the country is experiencing. This is also due to the reinvestment of part of these funds by the state, which approved a general budget in which public spending would reach $3 billion.
Public debt has also decreased, and after the repurchase of a percentage of it, it has decreased by $5.73 billion (2.2 billion rials), compared to 2021, when it stood at over $45 billion (18.6 billion rials).
Since the oil crisis in 2014, Oman's financial surpluses had been threatened by sharp falls in the price of oil, which had shaken the country's economy, especially given the slow pace of necessary reforms at the time.
But this year, a key year for the future of the Gulf economies, is allowing Oman to grow and leave behind the budget deficits it had run in previous years. Since Haitham bin Tareq al-Said became the Sultanate's new ruler at the beginning of 2020, his government has embarked on a major programme to reduce subsidies and achieve financial equilibrium.