Where Russia's Lukoil sees oil prices going

Russia's Lukoil bases two-year budget plan on crude oil prices at $40 per barrel.

By Daniel J. Graeber

MOSCOW, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Russian oil company Lukoil said during a meeting of the board of directors its two-year budget starting in 2017 would be based on oil priced at $40 per barrel.

Lukoil's board of directors met in Moscow to review trends in the global energy industry over the coming years. From the company's perspective, conditions were appropriate to boost production from some of its core assets to plateau levels and increase activity in the exploration and production side of the energy sector.


Exploration and production, known also as the upstream sector, will account for 80 percent of the company's total spending.

"The budget for 2017-19 is based on a conservative oil price assumption, in particular $40 per barrel of Brent is used for 2017, and envisages active development of company's projects primarily in the upstream segment," the company said in a statement.

The price for Brent crude oil was just shy of $49 per barrel in early Tuesday trading. Oil prices have moved in volatile territory since September when members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries offered a production proposal to keep markets in check. Brent moved above $50 per barrel in the wake of that meeting, flirted with $40 per barrel as doubts lingered, and has since held in the upper $40-range as member states review their options ahead of a formal meeting next week.


The Central Bank of Russia said last week the probability of another drastic collapse in oil prices is low, though recovery won't be substantially above current rates. Bank chief Elvira Nabiullina said she expected oil prices to hold around $40 per barrel for at least a few years.

Russia has offered fluid support for a proposal seen as hinging in part on participation from producers outside of OPEC. Writing in the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera in October, Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russian oil company Rosneft, said OPEC members were waging a "price war" and Russian producers won't be staying on the sidelines in the race for increased market shares.

Speaking from the sidelines of an economic summit in Peru this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said there would be no problems for his country if it kept oil production stable.

Russia's oil production is currently at or near post-Soviet highs.

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