Russian Central Bank anticipates $40 per barrel oil

Crude oil prices are about 15 percent below their peak levels for the year.

By Daniel J. Graeber

MOSCOW, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- The probability of another drastic collapse in oil prices is low, though recovery won't be substantially above current rates, Russia's Central Bank chief said.

The price for Brent crude oil was holding below $45 per barrel in early trading, about 15 percent below its peak for the year, but 60 percent above the low point for 2016.


Elvira Nabiullina, the head of the Russian Central Bank, said she expected oil prices to hold around $40 per barrel for at least a few years, but it was unlikely that oil prices would collapse again.

"We estimate the probability of risk scenario as low," she was quoted by Russian news agency Tass as saying.

Global investors viewed a September proposal from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to coordinate on production levels as providing a floor for crude oil prices. The price for Brent moved just above $51 per barrel in the wake of that offer, but has since slid on questions on how well the 14 members of OPEC could coordinate on a formal arrangement.

Russia has offered fluid support for a proposal seen as hinging in part on participation from producers outside of OPEC. Crude oil prices are under pressure from an oversupplied market and Igor Sechin, the head of Russian oil company Rosneft and close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said there are no market forces standing in the way of an increase in oil production long term.


Nabiuallina said any recovery for the Russian economy will be slow. Only minor growth for gross domestic product is expected next year.

"We expect external environment will regrettably remain challenging for our economy and internal conditions will be tough," she said.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the federal budget was based on oil priced at around $40 per barrel. The rate of inflation, meanwhile, is expected to be close to its low-end outlook of around 5.5 percent this year and the International Monetary Fund said there are prospects for "modest" recovery starting in 2017

Russian GDP contracted 0.7 percent on annual terms, but down 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for September.

Growth should come in below 2 percent for GDP, Nabiuallina said.

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