The Annual Report of the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) for the year 2004 was released on June 25, 2005. It offers a comprehensive assessment of the macroeconomic developments in Oman during 2004.
According to the assessment presented in the Annual Report, benefiting from high international oil prices, Oman's oil exports expanded by 17 per cent, oil revenue for the Government went up by 15.5 per cent, and value addition from petroleum activities rose by 17.4 per cent. The performance of the non-oil sector also remained strong, as non-oil exports of Omani origin gained a sharp growth of 38.2 per cent, non-oil revenues of the Government increased by 37.9 per cent, and the value addition form non-petroleum activities rose by 11.9 per cent.
Provisional estimates for 2004 indicate that Oman's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) registered an impressive growth of 14.4 per cent, as against 6.9 per cent in 2003. While industry as a group accounting for about 55 per cent of GDP rose by 18.4 per cent, within the broad group of industry, petroleum activities exhibited a growth of 17.4 per cent and non-petroleum activities rose even sharper by 21.9 per cent. This strong performance in the non-petroleum activities was spurred by 49.7 per cent growth in construction activities, and 32.1 per cent growth in electricity and water supply. Manufacturing, which accounts for 63.3 per cent of value added in non-petroleum industrial activities, registered a growth of 12.5 per cent. Services, which account for about 45 per cent of GDP, also registered a strong growth of 9.8 per cent, the report said.
Employment of Omanis in the private sector, as represented by the number of Omanis registered with the Public Authority for Social Insurance, increased by 16.4 per cent from 74,816 at the end of 2003 to 87,064 by the end of 2004.
Unlike oil, production of natural gas increased marginally from 852.1 billion c.f. in 2003 to 852.9 billion c.f. in 2004. At the end of 2004, while the oil reserves stood at 4.803 billion barrels, natural gas reserves were about 24.24 trillion c.f. LNG, which has a two-train capacity of 6.6 million tones, will increase its capacity by another 3.3 million tones when the third train comes into operation. In relation to the size of crude oil produced in Oman, it has very modest refining capacity.