Oman's budget surplus hits $2.4 bln in Q1

MUSCAT, July 12 Sat Jul 12, 2008 5:46pm IST

MUSCAT, July 12 (Reuters) - Gulf Arab oil and gas producer Oman said on Saturday its budget surplus for the first quarter of this year was 912 million rial ($2.37 billion), fuelled by record crude prices.

Oman posted a 417 million rial surplus in the first three months of last year, the Ministry of National Economy said in its monthly bulletin.

The Gulf Arab state's oil revenue soared 55.8 percent to 1.609 billion rials in the first quarter compared with 1.03 billion rials in the year-earlier period, the ministry said.

Like other states in the world's top oil-exporting region, the non-OPEC member's economy is surging on a more than seven-fold increase in oil prices since 2002.

The ministry said total government revenue grew 36.5 percent to 2.12 billion rials for the first quarter from 1.55 billion rials in the corresponding period last year. (Writing by Ola Galal, editing by Mike Peacock)

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