Latin America

‘Venezuela to push for $100 oil price’

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says Caracas will keep seeking a cut in oil production until prices rebound to USD 100 per barrel.

“We’re going to be in permanent contact within the [Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] OPEC,” Maduro said on Thursday night.

He said that Venezuela, which sits on the world’s largest crude reserves, considers USD 100 a barrel a fair price for oil.

“We have not succeeded yet, but… we will continue to try until prices return to where they should be, at around USD 100 per barrel,” he added.

Maudoro’s remarks came after OPEC decided to maintain its oil output at the current level, amid an oversupply of crude and falling prices.

The decision was made on Thursday at the 166th ministerial meeting of the 12-nation organization in the Austrian capital city of Vienna.

The oil exporter group “decided to maintain the production level of 30 million barrels per day” where it has stood for three years, OPEC said in a communiqué.

OPEC was under pressure from some of its members, notably Venezuela and Ecuador, to cut output to reduce supplies and push prices back up. However, the call was rejected by Persian Gulf members, including Saudi Arabia.

Following the OPEC decision not to slash production, oil prices tumbled to fresh four-year lows, with London’s Brent North Sea crude for January delivery plunging to USD 71.25 and New York’s West Texas Intermediate for January at USD 67.75 a barrel.

OPEC is a Vienna-based intergovernmental organization of 12 oil-producing countries, which groups Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Kuwait, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.

OPEC members pump out about 40 percent of the world’s oil with Iran being currently the organization’s third-largest oil producer.

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