Friday, 11 December 2015

Russia Plans $40 a Barrel Oil for Next Seven Years as Saudi Showdown Intensifies

THE TELEGRAPH: 'We will live in a different reality,' said a top Kremlin official. The message is aimed squarely at Saudi Arabia in a war for market share

Russia is battening down the hatches for a Biblical collapse in oil revenues, warning that crude prices could stay as low as $40 a barrel for another seven years.

Maxim Oreshkin, the deputy finance minister, said the country is drawing up plans based on a price band fluctuating between $40 to $60 as far out as 2022, a scenario that would have devastating implications for Opec.

It would also spell disaster for the North Sea producers, Brazil’s off-shore projects, and heavily indebted Western producers. “We will live in a different reality,” he told a breakfast forum hosted by Russian newspaper Vedomosti.

The cold blast from Moscow came as US crude plunged to $35.56, pummelled by continuing fall-out from the acrimonious Organisaton of Petrol Exporting Countries meeting last week. Record short positions by hedge funds have amplified the effect.

Bank of America said there was now the risk of “full-blown price war” within Opec itself as Saudi Arabia and Iran fight out a bitter strategic rivalry through the oil market. » | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard | Friday, December 11, 2015