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Kudrin: oil may stay near $50 a barrel for 3-5 yrs

ST. PETERSBURG. June 5 (Interfax) - The price of oil may hover near $50 a barrel for the next three-five years, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said.

"We are proceeding based on a forecast of $50 a barrel in the coming years," Kudrin said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. That price could hold for "about three-five years," he said.

The Economic Development Ministry has raised the oil price forecast to $45 per barrel on average for 2009 from $41. The Finance Ministry is proposing that the 2010-2012 budget assume oil at $50 in 2010, $52 in 2011, and $53 in 2012. The Economic Development Ministry previously proposed calculating the forecast based on oil at $50 in 2010, $60 in 2011 and $70 in 2012. The government has not made a final decision on which of the figures to use in calculating the 2010-2012 budget.