Oman expects oil prices to range between $70 and $80 a barrel in 2010, about 40% to 60% more than the $50 estimate the country is using to calculate its budget, Oman’s national economy minister said today.

The independent producer is aiming for oil output of 870,000bpd, up from a target of about 800,000bpd in 2009.

If Oman reaches both targets it would mark three consecutive years of oil output growth after several years of decline, reports Reuters.

“The 2010 budget has been set for production of 870,000bpd and we see oil prices in the range of $70 to $80 per barrel,” National Economy Minister Ahmad Mekki said.

The budget assumed revenues of 6.38 billion rials ($16.57bn) in 2010, 14% higher than in 2009. The $50 assumption for the oil price in 2010 is up $5 from Oman’s budgeted oil price in 2009.

Oman produced an average of 806,000bpd in the first nine months of 2009.

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