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    Falling Oil Prices Not 'Tragic', Even Beneficial for Russian Budget

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    Russian energy minister expects oil prices to rise as high as $98-99 by the end of 2015, which would correspond with budget expectations.

    MOSCOW, November 29 (Sputnik) – Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has announced that the reduced price of oil will not cause a shortfall in the nation’s budget, and that he expects its price to bounce back next year.

    “We believe that the market will correct itself,” he told Rossiskaya Gazeta in Sochi, “and that the current fall in prices will actually have a beneficial effect, in part because cuts will be focused on expensive, ineffective projects.”

    Novak also gave reassurances that Russia, having calculated next year’s budget on the basis of $100 a barrel, would not experience budget problems due to the decreased price. “We also don’t see a problem in this regard, since such a price calculation amounted to a budget surplus, which would ordinarily be sent to Russia’s National Wealth Fund.” Correspondingly, without such a surplus in 2015, the Fund would not be boosted.

    He also predicted that the price of oil “will recover in the medium term to a level which is comfortable for oil and gas companies and exporting countries- that could be between $85-90 a barrel.” He added that in the longer term, he expected prices to rise as high as $98-99 by the end of 2015, which would correspond with budget expectations.

    On Thursday, Rosneft chief Igor Sechin gave a lower estimate of $70-75 a barrel in 2015, but said that he expected the price to start rising in the second half of 2015. “Nothing tragic is happening in the oil market,” he declared, adding that in the longer term the growth of oil supply against demand would slow.

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    oil prices, economy, Alexander Novak, Russia
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