Putin says Russia 'satisfied' with oil at US$60

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a plenary session 'Building Partnerships: Bridging Differences' as part of the 10th annual VTB Capital 'Russia Calling' Investment Forum at the World Trade Center in Moscow, Russia, on Nov 28, 2018.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a plenary session 'Building Partnerships: Bridging Differences' as part of the 10th annual VTB Capital 'Russia Calling' Investment Forum at the World Trade Center in Moscow, Russia, on Nov 28, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia is happy with the current oil price level of around US$60 (S$83) per barrel, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday (Nov 28), despite a recent dramatic oil price slump on global oversupply worries.

The oil price "fell and then rose again but in my opinion, a level around US$60 is quite acceptable, we are completely satisfied," he told an investment forum.

Russia's latest budget had been built on the assumption of oil at US$40, he said.

Russia is the world's third-biggest oil producer after the United States and Opec kingpin Saudi Arabia, which has been cooperating with Russia on production cuts to keep a check on supply.

But since reaching four-year highs in October, oil prices have plunged around 30 per cent as worries about falling demand in a slowing world economy have taken their toll.

European oil benchmark Brent stood at just under US$60 on Wednesday, while its US counterpart WTI hovered just above US$51.

Russia has for years been cooperating with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) of which it is not a member, helping to engineer a rebound after a 2014 oil price slump.

The cooperation had been a "a 100 per cent" success, Putin said, adding that this was largely due to Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the "initiator" of the deal.

"This led to positive results," Putin said.

Opec and its partners, including Russia, are scheduled to meet in Vienna next week to decide on production targets.