MOSCOW, April 1 (RIA Novosti) - World prices for
Russia's benchmark Urals oil blend averaged $43.51 per barrel
in the first quarter of 2009, a Finance Ministry official said
"The average oil price stood at $43.51 per barrel in
January-March, compared with $93.36 per barrel in the first
quarter of last year," said Alexander Sakovich, deputy head of
the ministry's Customs department.
The Urals price was $45.17 per barrel in March, compared
with $99.78 per barrel in March 2008.
The average oil price is a crucial factor for budget
revenue calculations. The 2009 federal budget was initially
based on a forecast price of $95 per barrel, but the government
later lowered its basic forecast for 2009 to $50 per barrel and
subsequently to $41 per barrel amid the global economic crisis
and declining demand for oil consumption.