понедельник, 2 февраля 2009 г.

Russia's benchmark Urals crude averages $42.8 in January

MOSCOW, February 2 (RIA Novosti) - The average price for the benchmark Urals blend, Russia's major crude export, was $42.8 per barrel on global markets in January 2009, a senior Finance Ministry official said on Monday.

The figure was $39.22 per barrel in December 2008 and $89.45 in January 2008.

"The price has stabilized and was a little higher in January than the yearly forecast of $41 per barrel," said Alexander Sakovich, deputy head of the customs payment unit at the ministry's customs and tariff policy department.

He said oil producers would not sustain losses, if the price remained at the same level in February.

As of February 1, Russia cut export duties on oil to $100.9 per metric ton from $119.1 per ton, responding to a fall in world oil prices amid the ongoing global financial crisis. The duty on light petroleum products was lowered to $80.3 per ton from $92.6 per ton and on heavy petroleum products to $43.2 per ton from $49.9 per ton.

Last year, the government abandoned its previously accepted bimonthly practice of monitoring the price of the Urals blend on global oil markets and from December 1 switched to setting export duties on oil and oil products on a monthly basis to respond more swiftly to changes in world oil prices.

The global financial crisis has forced Russia, which receives a large part of its revenues from oil exports, to gradually devalue the ruble amid capital flight and a fall in global oil prices, which have declined from their peak of $147 per barrel in July to just around $40 per barrel.

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