February 2, 2009
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Kudrin Expects Russia's 2008 Avg at $96bbl

(RIA Novosti) - The average price for Russian crude oil in 2008 is expected to be around $96 per barrel, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Wednesday.

"The actual price has been $98.7 per barrel since the start of the year and it will fall by the end of the year because it is currently less than $50 per barrel, standing at $46.7 per barrel," Kudrin said.

Russia's Finance Ministry earlier lowered its oil price forecast to $50 per barrel for 2009, $55 for 2010, and $60 for 2011 amid the global financial crisis and plunging oil prices.

"This is substantially lower than what has been fixed in the budget," Kudrin said. The federal budget had been approved based on a forecast for 2009 of $95 per barrel, $45 higher than the revised forecast.

Kudrin said the shortfall would be made up from the Reserve Fund, designed to cushion the federal budget against a drop in oil prices. He said that he was confident the budget would not be affected and would be implemented in full despite the downgrade in the oil price forecast.

Kudrin said the Russian government would spend over 1 trillion rubles ($36.6 billion) from the Reserve Fund in 2009.

"It looks like we will have to spend more than 1 trillion rubles from the Reserve Fund next year," he said.

 - Copyright 2008, RIA Novosti. All rights reserved. 


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