Oman expects oil prices to remain in $65-$75 range, says energy minister

Oman's oil ministry is also conducting a feasibility study about a 30% stake in a Sri Lankan oil refinery
Oman expects oil prices to remain in $65-$75 range, says energy minister
Omani energy minister Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Sun 31 Mar 2019 09:03 AM

Oman expects oil prices to remain between $65 and $75 per barrel until the end of 2019, according to Omani energy minister Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhy.

Additionally, the state-run Oman News Agency (ONA) quoted the minister as saying that the Sultanate remains committed to the OPEC+ agreement until the end of 2019.

As part of the December 2018 agreement between OPEC member states, Russia and a number of non-OPEC products, OPEC+ agreed to reduce oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day for a six-month period beginning on January 1 of this year.

According to Reuters calculations based on Dubai Mercantile Exchange data, the official selling price for Omani crude in May will rise by $2.50 to a five-month high of $66.98 per barrel.

Oil prices are expected to fall, however, if Russia only agrees to a three-month extension of the OPEC+ deal.

Sri Lanka refinery

The ONA report also said Oman was conducting a feasibility study regarding taking a 30 percent state in a new oil refinery project on Sri Lanka’s south coast, the first in the island nation in 52 years.

Earlier in March, Sri Lankan officials told reporters that a joint venture between Oman’s oil ministry and an Accord Group-owned Singapore investment vehicle had agreed to build a 200,000 barrel-per-day refinery near Hambontota port.

In response, Salim Al-Aufi, Oman’s undersecretary of Oman’s ministry of oil and gas said that “no one...is aware this investment in Sri Lanka.”

“It came as news to me,” he added. “I don’t know who is signing the cheque for $3.8 billion.”

According to an industry source cited by Reuters, discussions about the project involving Oman are still in an early stage.

Even after the Omani denial, Sri Lankan Board of Investment director general said that she believed the deal was still going ahead and said that the government had already approved the JV.

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