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Rosneft to maintain $50 oil price for 2009


ST. PETERSBURG, June 5 (RIA Novosti) - Rosneft has no plans to review its 2009 business plan, which has fixed the price of oil at $50 per barrel, the head of Russia's largest state-run oil company said on Friday.

"We see no reason to review the $50 price," Sergei Bogdanchikov said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

He said that although the price of oil could climb to $60-$70 later this year, it would average $50-$55 in 2009.

Russia's first deputy premier, Igor Sechin, said earlier in the day that oil prices continued to remain volatile and there was a high risk that prices would plunge once again.

Bogdanchikov said his company's oil output forecast for the year would not be reviewed either.

"The financial performance in the first quarter was good, and I think we will work well in the first half of 2009," the businessman said.

Rosneft's plans for the next three months include launching operations at Black Sea fields off the former Georgian republic of Abkhazia, Bogdanchikov said.

"We are drafting a plan for offshore operations. We believe the next three months will be spent on analyzing and drafting a seismic operations plan, to be followed by the holding of a tender for seismic work," he said.

Bogdanchikov said Rosneft would soon register two companies, one handling offshore operations, and the other selling oil on the Abkhaz market.

The Rosneft head and Abkhaz Economics Minister Kristina Ozgan signed a five-year framework agreement in Abkhazia's capital of Sukhum late in May that will see the company explore and develop the republic's offshore fields.

Speaking about its credit plans for 2009, Bogdanchikov said the crude producer had sufficient finance for the year and would not be seeking any large loans.

"We are not planning any significant borrowings," he said.

Rosneft's crude production grew 9% year-on-year in 2008 to more than 110.1 million metric tons (807 million barrels) of oil. The company expects to produce 112.3 million metric tons (823 million barrels) of oil in 2009.

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