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OIL AND GAS
Slow growth, low price of oil raising economic concern in Russia
by Daniel J. Graeber
Washington (UPI) Jun 15, 2017


As oil prices lose their grip on $50 per barrel, polling data published in Russian media Thursday show the state of the economy is a growing public concern.

Russian news agency Tass published data from All-Russia Public Opinion Study Center that found nearly a quarter of the 1,600 people taking part in the survey told investigators low wages were a top concern, up from the 18 percent at the beginning of the year.

"Also, people's concern about the state of the economy in general has grown since January [16 percent] up to 24 percent in April, in May the figure was 21 percent," Tass reported.

Speaking last week before Russian lawmakers, Central Bank Gov. Elvira Nabiullina said the economy is "very close" to its target of reducing inflation from 7 percent to as low as 3 percent, but the time to move close to that benchmark is taking longer than expected.

On stability, the bank chief said it's important to stay consistent when responding to any potential for existing financial shocks. The May rate of inflation was 4.1 percent, unchanged from the previous month.

"The situation is volatile, there is a lot of uncertainty in the world," she said in her address. "We will have to react in accordance with the challenges presented to us."

Russia's economy lingered in recession last year and the national currency, the ruble, declined in value after crude oil prices dipped below $30 per barrel. Oil prices have been fluid this year, trading in a range of around $45 per barrel to $55 per barrel.

Russia is party to an effort led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to limit production in order to balance an oversupplied market. It's the largest contributor to that effort among non-member states, pledging to sideline about 300,000 barrels of oil per day.

After the deal was brokered in November, Nabiullina said recovery for the Russian economy will be slow with only minor growth for gross domestic product expected this year.

The Russian poll was conducted from May 25 to 29 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

OIL AND GAS
Libya sees oil production gains ahead
Washington (UPI) Jun 14, 2017
An agreement with German energy company Wintershall means Libya has a better chance of meeting oil production goals, a national oil company said. The Libyan National Oil Co. said it signed an agreement with Wintershall that outlines a resumption of oil production from some of its license areas on an interim basis. NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said the agreement gives Wintershall enough ... read more

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