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Oman’s PDO Ups Crude Output Above 2015 Plans

Oman’s PDO Ups Crude Output Above 2015 Plans

PDO’s production in January and February exceeded the planned average for the year as a whole.

State-controlled oil producer Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) raised its crude output in the first two months of the year to more than the planned annual average of 570,000 barrels per day (bpd), a top official said.

While neighbouring members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have called on producers from outside the group to cut or freeze production to support oil prices, Oman is moving ahead with plans to pump more.

PDO’s production in January and February exceeded the planned average for the year as a whole, Managing Director Raoul Restucci said at a briefing on Tuesday night.

He said the planned average is 570,000 bpd but declined to give the actual current production.

Gulf Arab producer Oman is a small independent producer but its crude forms part of the benchmark price for millions of barrels per day of exports from Middle East producers to Asia.

Oman is also an important exporter to Asian markets. In 2013, Oman exported an estimated 833,400 bpd of crude oil and condensate, of which nearly 60 percent went to China, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

In January, Omani oil minister Mohammad bin Hamad al-Rumhy said the country’s crude oil production is expected to rise by about 20,000 bpd in 2015. Oman has been pumping around 950,000 bpd of crude.

Oman has spent heavily on technology to enhance oil output from its old, depleted fields. Restucci said some enhanced oil recovery projects will slow as they require higher prices, but the vast majority will continue as they are “very very profitable.” He did not elaborate.

PDO, Oman’s largest producer, is 60 percent owned by the government and 34 percent by Royal Dutch Shell.

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