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World prices for Russia's benchmark Urals oil blend averaged $43.51
World prices for Russia's benchmark Urals oil blend averaged $43.51 per barrel in the first quarter of 2009, a Finance Ministry official said on Wednesday.

"The average oil price stood at $43.51 per barrel in January-March, compared with $93.36 per barrel in the first quarter of last year," said Alexander Sakovich, deputy head of the ministry's Customs department.

The Urals price was $45.17 per barrel in March, compared with $99.78 per barrel in March 2008.

The average oil price is a crucial factor for budget revenue calculations. The 2009 federal budget was initially based on a forecast price of $95 per barrel, but the government later lowered its basic forecast for 2009 to $50 per barrel and subsequently to $41 per barrel amid the global economic crisis and declining demand for oil consumption.


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