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Venezuela Says It Won't Up Oil Output


CARACAS, July 4  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday that Venezuela, one of the key members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, wont increase oil production in an effort to lower world oil prices.

THERES PRESSURE FOR US to increase production so that oil prices start to fall, Mr. Chavez said in a televised interview. But were arent going to do that. Mr. Chavez made his comments a day after Saudi Arabia stunned OPEC members with a proposal to increase production

in the next few days by 500,000 barrels a day in a bid to cool soaring oil prices. Mr. Chavez added he spoke with the Algerian President and Saudis King Fahd on Tuesday morning.

Mr. Chavez said he told King Fahd that it is important to strengthen OPEC. Earlier Tuesday, OPEC President Ali Rodriguez, who is also Venezuelas Oil Minister, said he still hasnt received any official statement from Saudi Arabias Oil Minister Ali Naimi.

I still have no official information, said Mr. Rodriguez. I cant comment on anything thats not official, he added. He further said he expects to talk to Mr. Naimi later Tuesday and reiterated OPEC is interested in maintaining prices at a stable level.

Saudis set to boost oil production.

Asked whether the market needs more oil, Mr. Rodriguez responded: according to our latest analysis, crude inventories have been rising ... the problem is not the crude but the products.

Mr. Rodriguez said Monday any decision by the Saudis to increase production would have to be made after consulting with other OPEC members.

In March, OPEC agreed to raise or reduce output by 500,000 barrels a day if the 20-day average price of the OPEC basket of crudes moved out of a band of $22 to $28 a barrel. At an extraordinary ministers meeting in Vienna last month, OPEC increased its total output by 708,000 barrels per day in response to oil prices breaching the high side of the band. Meanwhile, Irans oil minister said he was told by Mr. Naimi that the statement regarding the output increase had been misunderstood.

Irans Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh said on Iranian television Tuesday that Mr. Naimi had said he was keen to pursue the proposal agreed by the rest of OPEC which would rely on the price-band mechanism to trigger an increase in output.

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-- (, July 05, 2000


TOO LATE. OIL WHACKED DOWN 2nd day in row.

Wednesday July 5 7:35 AM ET

Oil Lower Again, Bracing for OPEC Move

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices shed more ground on Wednesday as dealers braced for extra oil from Saudi Arabia and a small number of fellow OPEC producers, after Riyadh's surprise vow Monday to lift exports.

London Brent blend futures fell a dollar by midday to $28.58 a barrel. Brent had slumped $1.52 Tuesday after Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said Riyadh was planning the imminent release of an extra 500,000 barrels day.

U.S. light crude was off $2.21 a barrel at $30.30 in out-of-hours electronic trading as the U.S. market opened after a public holiday.

Fellow OPEC members were briefed by telephone Tuesday and even though some are resisting the plan, OPEC's biggest producer Saudi Arabia appears certain to pump more crude within days.

-- cpr (, July 05, 2000.

Earlier this year, Venezuela was in such especially dire financial straights (remember the floods and mud slides that devastated the country?), that it was determined to sell whatever oil it could because it needed the revenue. Right now. Venezuela isn't holding back for the good of the long-term market.

-- Whatever (, July 05, 2000.

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