Russia wants oil prices at $75 per barrel

June 5, 2009 at 2:29 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, June 5 (UPI) -- Oil production in Russia could drop if economic conditions do not improve unless crude oil prices reach $75 per barrel, the Russian deputy premier said Friday.

Oil funded a significant portion of the economic boom in Russia. Russian oil companies, including the largest, LUKoil, however, were forced to petition the Russian Development Bank for billions in loans as the global economy collapsed in November.

Igor Sechin spoke at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, saying oil prices need to continue their modest surge in order to sustain production, RIA Novosti reports.

"We need at least $75 per barrel," he said.

With oil prices recovering near $65 per barrel, however, Sechin said he was skeptical the global economic was set for a rebound.

The deputy premier added that oil output from Russia was unlikely to decline, but noted the tight credit market could contribute to a drop in the coming years.

Meanwhile, oil giant Gazprom Neft announced Monday crude oil exports rose nearly 5 percent in the first four months of 2009 compared with the previous year.

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