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Speculation, Not Economy Behind Low Oil Prices: Russian Lawmaker

© Sputnik / Kirill Kallinikov / Go to the photo bank"We should not forget that the Russian budget still runs a surplus," Energy Committee chair Ivan Grachev said.
We should not forget that the Russian budget still runs a surplus,  Energy Committee chair Ivan Grachev said. - Sputnik International
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The lawmaker also urged not to panic in light of OPEC's decision, pointing out that "the Russian budget still runs a surplus."

OPEC ministers and delegates gather for a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW, November 28 (Sputnik) — Politics and speculation, as opposed to economic reasons, account for the current low price of oil, a lawmaker from the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, said Friday at a roundtable held at the Rossiya Segodnya press center.

"The decline of oil prices was not economic in nature, but rather political and speculative," Energy Committee chair Ivan Grachev said at a roundtable on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) decision to maintain current oil output levels.

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The lawmaker urged not to panic in light of OPEC's decision, saying, "We should not forget that the Russian budget still runs a surplus."

On Thursday OPEC Conference president and Libyan Vice Prime Minister Abdourhman Ataher Al-Ahirish also highlighted the role speculative activity is playing in the oil markets during opening remarks of the group's 166th meeting.

At Thursday's meeting in Vienna, the 12-member cartel decided to keep the current daily oil production ceiling of 30 million barrels, immediately causing the price of Brent crude to fall below the benchmark level of $75 per barrel.

The decision was made amid a slump in oil prices on the global market. Over the past five months oil prices have fallen by about $40 per barrel.

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