RUS­SIA IN A FIX

Qatar Today - - BUSINESS -

Rus­sia will keep its crude oil out­put steady next year and plung­ing prices will sta­bilise, En­ergy Min­is­ter Alexander No­vak said, re­it­er­at­ing com­ments made a month ago that the na­tion won't ad­just sup­ply to halt a rout.

The world's largest crude pro­ducer's out­put will be sim­i­lar to this year's 10.6 mil­lion bar­rels a day, No­vak said at the 16th Min­is­te­rial Meet­ing of the Gas Ex­port­ing Coun­tries Fo­rum in Doha. Brent, the global bench­mark, fell al­most 50% since the end of 2013, con­tribut­ing to a cur­rency cri­sis in Rus­sia, which re­lies on en­ergy for half its bud­get.

By keep­ing oil out­put un­changed, Rus­sia is match­ing a strat­egy by OPEC, which said Novem­ber 27 that it won't curb pro­duc­tion to tackle a global sur­plus. Sanc­tions im­posed by the U.S. and Euro­pean Union over the con­flict in Ukraine spurred the worst cap­i­tal out­flows in six years as the econ­omy nears re­ces­sion.

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