By Saleh al-Shaibany
Economy minister says price is 40-60% more than $50 estimate used to calculate budget.
Oman expects oil prices to range between $70 and $80 a barrel in 2010, some 40-60 percent more than the $50 estimate the country is using for to calculate its budget, Oman's national economy minister said on Tuesday.
The independent producer is aiming for oil output of 870,000 barrels per day (bpd), up from a target around 800,000 bpd in 2009.
If Oman reaches both targets, it would mark three consecutive years of oil output growth after several years of decline.
"The 2010 budget has been set for production of 870,000 barrel per day and we see oil prices in the range of $70-$80 per barrel," Ahmad Mekki, the national economy minister, said in a statement.
If oil prices stayed at that level, Oman would see a much higher increase in revenues than that projected in the budget it unveiled on Tuesday.
The budget assumed revenues of 6.38 billion rials ($16.57bn) in 2010, 14 percent higher than in 2009.
The $50 assumption for oil prices in 2010 is up $5 from Oman's budgeted oil price in 2009.
Oman produced an average of 806,000 bpd in the first nine months of 2009. (Reuters)