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World Bank: Russia Can Withstand Oil Price Volatility In 2019

Russia is well-positioned to withstand external shocks, The World Bank said today in its most recent version of Russia Economic Report, cited by TASS.

Oil prices are expected to average $71 per barrel over the next three years, the report also said, with the caveat that there is still “considerable uncertainty” to this forecast.

Oil demand is still expected to be “robust” according to the World Bank’s report, which citied the International Energy Agency forecast of a 1.4 million barrels per day increase.

Despite the extreme volatility experienced in the oil industry, with expectations that this trend will continue, the World Bank noted that Russia’s high level of international reserves ($461 billion), small international debt (29% of GDP), and “comfortable import cover (15.9 months) positions Russia well to absorb external shocks,” the report reads.

Russia is eyed closely leading up to the December 6 meeting in Vienna this weekend where OPEC will discuss the possibility of cutting oil production once again. Russia’s participation or reluctance to participate—whichever the case may be—may be a make or break moment for the cartel that once could sway the oil market alone.

Russia has sent mixed signals into the marketplace regarding its stance on the state of the oil market and its willingness to participate in production cuts. Russian President Vladimir Putin last week said that it was “obvious” that Russia would cooperate with OPEC, but failed to say definitively that it would cut production along with OPEC, should OPEC agree to do so.

Russia’s oil production slipped last month to 11.369 million barrels per day, from the record highs that it pumped in October of 11.41 million bpd, according to preliminary data released from Russia’s federal state budgetary organization CDU TEK this last weekend.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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