Oman increased production of crude oil and concentrates by 4 per cent in 2015 despite a cut in capital expenditure (capex), the country’s Oil & Gas Ministry announced.

The sultanate produced 981,000 barrels a day (b/d) last year compared with 943,000 b/d in 2014. Oman added 437 million barrels of new reserves over the year, which more than replaced the volumes extracted, undersecretary at the ministry Salim al-Aufi told reporters in Muscat on 20 March.

Oman has seen a significant recovery in oil production over the last 10 years, driven by the installation enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies at maturing fields.

The production of crude and condensates averaged over 1 million b/d for the three months from December last year to February 2015, but was expected to be lower in March due to disruptions from flooding at some Petroleum Development Oman (Oman) assets.

Muscat is targeting an average production of 990,000 b/d for the rest of the year, Oil & Gas Minister Mohammed al-Rumhy said.

Oman spent $11.4bn in the oil and gas sector in 2015, which Al-Aufi said was close to 2014. Lower spending on oil projects was offset by higher spending on gas, driven by the Khazzan Tight Gas Development. The ministry had budgeted spending at $12.05bn at the start of the year.

“Budget cuts should not be affecting oil and gas production,” Al-Aufi said.

“The plan for 2016 is really no different. There is a continuous challenge and push from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Oil & Gas to the operators to try and find ways of reducing costs,” he added.