Oman Rebukes OPEC Decision

Oman Rebukes OPEC DecisionOman Rebukes OPEC Decision

Oman, the biggest Middle Eastern oil producer that’s not a member of OPEC, joined Venezuela and Iran in questioning the group’s decision to keep its output target unchanged even with crude prices falling.

Oman is having a “really difficult time” because of low oil prices, Bloomberg cited Oman’s Oil Minister Mohammed Al-Rumhy as saying at a conference in Kuwait City.

Standard & Poor’s lowered the country’s outlook to negative from stable on Dec. 5, citing a risk that oil may drop more than expected. Brent crude slumped 54 percent in the past year as OPEC maintained its target at the group’s Nov. 27 meeting to defend market share amid a US shale boom that’s exacerbating a global glut.

Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, led that decision, while fellow members Iran and Venezuela wanted to cut output.

“I really fail to understand how market share became more important than revenue,” Al-Rumhy said. “We have created volatility, and volatility is one of those words that’s bad for business.”

The 2015 budget of Oman, where oil and natural gas account for almost 90 percent of government revenue, is based on an average crude price of $85 a barrel, Omani Finance Minister Darwish Al Balushi said in November.

Brent traded at $48.43 a barrel Wednesday. Oman’s oil production fell in November to 926,000 barrels a day, the lowest since May 2013, according to figures on the Joint Organisations Data Initiative website.