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World prices of Russia's Urals blend crude oil will drop to an annual average of $30 per barrel early next decade
World prices of Russia's Urals blend crude oil will drop to an annual average of $30 per barrel early next decade, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Wednesday. The projected Urals price for this year is $55 per barrel. It is expected to slide to $53 in 2008, $52 in 2009, and $50 in 2010. President Putin proposed last week that all revenues from the export of Russian hydrocarbon fuels should now be accumulated in one federal fund, to then be split up into three sub-funds, either for immediate spending, reserve, or long-time reserve. Speaking to a ministry board session Wednesday, Kudrin said the expected drop in Urals crude prices will reduce to 3.7% of GDP the amount of oil and gas export earnings available for current spending, as compared with 4.9% in 2007, 6.1% in 2008, 5.3% in 2009, and 4.5% in 2010. The new oil and gas revenue fund will be created on the basis of Russia's rainy-day Stabilization Fund, set up in 2004 to cushion against inflation and world market price fluctuations. According to the Finance Ministry, the Stabilization Fund grew to $88.7 billion as of January 1, 2007.
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