A flame from a Saudi Aramco oil installion known as "Pump 3" is seen in the desert near the oil-rich area of Khouris, 160 kms east of the Saudi capital Riyadh, on June 23, 2008. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANI
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From Oslo to Doha, Riyadh to Moscow, governments that rode crude's historic rise to unprecedented wealth are now being forced to start repatriating their rainy-day funds just to make ends meet.The biggest fund, Norway's, this week said it expects to tap its $820 billion stockpile for the first time next year to balance its budget, following similar moves across the Arab Gulf and in Russia.Looking ahead, TheCityUK, a lobby group for the financial services industry in London, expects sovereign-fund assets will increase by just 4 percent in 2015 to $7.4 trillion, well below the 12 percent average annual growth seen over the previous five years.In Europe, Norway plans to spend 208 billion kroner ($25.4 billion) of its oil wealth next year, topping the 204 billion kroner it predicts it will receive from offshore oil and gas fields, according to the 2016 budget.Russia, which is being squeezed both by lower commodity prices and sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the European Union over the conflict in Ukraine, expects to spend as much as 4.7 trillion rubles ($75 billion) of the Reserve Fund, one of its two oil funds, this year and next to weather its first recession in six years.
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