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Image courtesy of The Oman Oil Company.

Omani oil and gas companies are rehiring workers who had been laid off as that country’s government urges firms to absorb losses rather than cut stuff.

According to Gulf News Oman, Omani undersecretary of the oil and gas ministry Salim Al Auwfi said any future layoffs plans have also been cancelled.

About 1,600 Omani oil and gas workers have lost their jobs since oil prices began plummeting last year.

Omani nationals make up 65 percent of that country’s oil and gas workforce with a total of 20,000 nationals working in the energy sector, Gulf News Oman said.

The country was also able to avert a strike that was scheduled to be called on November 18 after successful talks between unions and energy firms.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Oman’s 5.5 billion barrels of proved oil reserves rank seventh in the Middle East.