MOSCOW, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Global oil prices could collapse below $50 per barrel in the coming years as Washington drains liquidity from markets, the Russian finance minister said.
Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin warned that U.S. efforts to spend its way out of the economic recession create false market conditions in the energy sector, the Moscow Times reports.
"It caused the prices to overheat," he said of Washington's spending habits. "In three to six months, when the Federal Reserve begins to remove liquidity from the market … we will have a correction."
Kudrin said the U.S. Federal Reserve would drain the liquidity from the market as signs of economic recovery emerge.
Oil prices fell from July 2008 highs of more than $140 to below $40 per barrel in December as the recession gripped world markets. Prices have recovered, however, to around $70 as the U.S. government pumps money into its economy, he noted.
Kudrin predicted global oil prices would settle at about $60 per barrel during the next three years, with an eventual decline toward an inflation-adjusted $50 per barrel in 2013.
Alexei Miller, the chief executive at Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, predicted last week, however, that oil prices would surge toward $100 in the coming year.