WASHINGTON, October 11 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Finance Ministry expects global oil prices to stabilize at $90 per barrel in the medium-term perspective, although they could suffer a short-term setback in 2015, the ministry’s strategic planning department chief said Friday.
“We will see no sharp decline, but a fast recovery is not to be expected either,” Maksim Oreshkin told journalists in Washington.
Oreshkin ruled out as unlikely the Russian central bank’s disaster scenario in which crude oil prices plunge to a mere $60 per barrel.
“I don’t quite believe in 60 [dollars per barrel]. Ninety [dollars per barrel] seems more likely to me. It’s clear that [oil prices] could suffer a short-term decline to 80-85 [dollars per barrel], but the medium-term trend will be that of 90 [dollars],” the Russian finance strategy chief said.
On Thursday, crude oil prices dipped below $90 dollars for the first time in the past couple of years amid forecasts that global supplies would continue to surpass demand.
Oreshkin said the main reason for falling crude prices was the rising oil output in the United States, Iraq and Libya, which, he said, was very likely to put a steady downward pressure on the prices in the next few years.
Speaking about Russia’s Reserve Fund, Oreshkin told journalists that it could only be used as a last-resort option in case of a drop in oil prices – and that for a very limited period too.
“The Reserve Fund can only be a short-term solution, rather than the main source of funding,” he stressed.
This statement echoed a remark by Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov who said in early October that Russian authorities had no plans of using resources from the Reserve Fund in 2015, although they still retained the right to.