The state of Oman has increased its tax on liquefied natural gas (LNG) companies, according to local media reports.

The Times of Oman reported on Thursday that the tax has been raised from 15% to 55% in a joint meeting of the State Council and Majlis Al Shura, the country’s Consultative Council.

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Additionally, the Omani newspaper said that Oman approved a 35 percent tax on petrochemical firms. The joint session resulted in a 63 percent vote for the increase of the petrochemical tax, the report said.

The decision comes on the back of OMR4.5 billion budget deficit. Despite spending cuts and tax increases, Oman’s revenue was severely hit by the drop in oil and gas prices.

Oman exports chilled gas through Oman LNG, a joint venture company established by a Royal Decree in 1994. The company owned 51 percent by the government, exports LNG from its terminal in Qalhat near Sur with a 10.4 mtpa capacity.

LNG World News contacted both Oman LNG and Shell that owns a 30 percent stake in the company, seeking comment on the matter, however, no responses have been received by the time this article was published.

Other shareholders in Oman LNG include Total (5.54%) Mitsubishi Corp. (2.77%), Partex (Oman) Corp (2%), Korea LNG (5%), Mitsui & Co. (2.77%) and Itochu Corporation with a 0.92% stake.

Source: http://www.lngworldnews.com/