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Falling Oil Prices Force Iraqi Government To Revise Budget

BAGHDAD -- Plummeting oil prices have led the Iraqi government to revise its calculations for the 2009 budget and to cut down on some public spending.

Deputy Finance Minister Fadhil Nabi told RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq that when the 2009 budget was drafted, the price of oil was nearly $140 per barrel, but soon dropped to some $80 per barrel.

He added that when the price further tumbled to about $40 per barrel, where it is now, Iraq agreed with the International Monetary Fund to revise its budget with oil prices averaging $62.5 per barrel over the year.

Nabi noted that Iraq was forced to revise its budget a second time from about $68 billion to some $60 billion. Oil revenues account for 94 percent of Iraq's budget.