Oman says to trim 2009 spending if sub-$45 oil

MUSCAT Sat Jan 3, 2009 5:55pm IST

MUSCAT Jan 3 (Reuters) - Oman will cut public spending this year if the average oil price slips below the $45 per barrel it budgeted for 2009, the economy minister said on Saturday.

The 6.424 billion Omani rial ($16.7 billion) budget with an estimated shortfall of 0.81 billion rials was approved by the Sultanate's ruler on Thursday.

"If the (average) oil price falls below $45 per barrel then we are going to revise the 2009 budget and cut down the number of projects this year," Ahmad bin Abdul-Nabi Mekki told Reuters on the sidelines of a press conference.

The previous year's budget was also based on a $45 price for the barrel of oil. Brent crude LCOc1 closed at $46.91 on Friday. (Reporting by Saleh al-Shaibany, writing by Raissa Kasolowsky; editing by Chris Pizzey)