Forecasted average annual price on Russian oil increased to 26 dollars per barrel

The Russian Federation's economic development and trade ministry has increased the forecasted average annual oil price of the Urals brand from 25 to 26 dollars per barrel this year.

Speaking in Moscow Wednesday, Ivan Matyorov, deputy economic development and trade minister, recalled that the oil price written into the 2003 budget was 21.5 dollars a barrel.

According to the ministry's forecast, in 2004 Russian oil will be priced at 22 dollars, in 2005 - 22.5 dollars, and in 2006 - at 23 dollars per barrel.

Mr. Matyorov also said that the price of 1000 cubic metres of gas would equal 97.4 dollars in 2004. At the same time, it is expected to drop to 94.4 dollars in 2005 and rise again to 97.9 dollars in 2006.

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