Oman oil prices rise by over 63 percent(Gulf Business Capsule)

April 26th, 2008 - 8:13 pm ICT by admin  


Dubai, April 26 (IANS) The average price of Omani oil rose by 63.8 percent to $86.78 per barrel by end-February 2008, as against $52.98 for the same period in 2007. Daily production averaged 735,100 barrels during this period, as against a daily output of 717,100 barrels during the corresponding period in 2007, constituting a rise of 2.5 percent, the Oman News Agency (ONA) reported citing the monthly statistical bulletin of the Ministry of National Economy.

Exports of Omani crude totalled 36.108 million barrels during January and February this year, against 37.905 million barrels exported during the same period last year, showing a decrease of 4.7 percent.

China topped the list of importers, lifting a total of 18.166 million barrels during the first two months of this year, compared to 19.164 million barrels during the same period in 2007, constituting a six percent decrease.

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Office rents in Dubai shoot up by 22 percent

Soaring rents of commercial property in Dubai are affecting the budgets of companies that are working out of this Gulf metropolis.

Growing demand pushed office rents up by 22 percent on average - compared to just seven percent last year - from the first quarter 2007 to first quarter 2008, according to a report by property services company Asteco.

Likewise, commercial sales prices soared 54 percent.

“While premises that are currently leased are being renewed within the approved rental cap, the discrepancy in the increase of the rental rate above the rent cap is largely due to new projects being released at higher rental rates than the existing ones,” the Gulf News quoted Asteco managing director Andrew Chambers as saying.

A survey by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry also showed that property rents continued to top the list of concerns among businessmen for 2008.

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New terminal at Jebel Ali port next year

Dubai will strengthen its position as the region’s logistics hub with the completion of a $1.5-billion Terminal 2 expansion project at the Jebel Ali Port by early next year.

The project, due to be completed in February, will boost DP World’s flagship port capacity up to 15 million TEUs to supplement the strong growth in the GCC region, the Khaleej Times reported.

“Infrastructure work at Jebel Ali Port will be completed by June this year after which installation of state-of-the-art equipment will be initiated to bring around three million TEUs online by early 2009,” the newspaper quoted Mohammed Al Muallem, senior vice-president and managing director of DP World-UAE, as saying.

“Dubai is situated at the gateway between the East and the West, strategically positioned to be a natural hub for the global shipping industry and providing access to a market of 1.5 billion people,” he said.

“A significant benefit for our customers is our location within Jebel Ali Free Zone, which has over 6,000 companies covering manufacturing, trade, logistics and a range of industrial and service-oriented units,” Al Muallem added.

He said that completion of the Terminal 2 expansion project would further strengthen Dubai’s position in the region as 50 percent of operations at Jebel Ali Port were for Dubai while the rest were destined for Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other regional states.

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