Kuwait City: Non-OPEC oil producer Oman described as bad politics and bad business Wednesday the cartel`s November decision to make no cut in output, which sent world prices crashing.
OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia said the decision was necessary to prevent the cartel losing market share after a sharp increase in US shale oil production.
But Oman, a Saudi neighbour which has been badly hit by the resulting loss in revenue, said it saw no logic to it.
"I fail to comprehend how market share became more important than revenue," Omani Oil and Gas Minister Mohamed al-Rumhi told an oil conference in Kuwait City.
Rumhi said that before the decision, with oil trading at $100 a barrel, OPEC was earning $3 billion a day from its output of 30 million barrels per day.
"When earnings dropped to $2.9 billion, $2.8 billion, they got up to defend market share ... and as a result, revenues dropped to roughly $1.5 billion," the Omani minister said.
"This is politics that I don`t understand. Business? This is not business."
Ruhmi said the fall in prices had hit the Gulf sultanate hard and "it is really a difficult time in Oman."
Income from Oman`s oil output of around one million bpd accounts for some 80 percent of revenues and the sultanate last month forecast a budget deficit for 2015 of $6.47 billion (5.35 billion euros).