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Venezuela wants to avoid OPEC oil prices continue falling

Venezuela wants to avoid OPEC oil prices continue falling

Posted by Dubraswka Aguilar on October 11, 2014

Venezuela will request an urgent meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) amid a drop in global oil prices, Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez said.

"We've received instructions from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and we're going to talk with the other ministers and the secretary-general to propose an urgent OPEC meeting," Ramirez said here at a press conference Friday.

Venezuela is concerned about a steady drop in global oil prices and particularly the price of the South American nation's crude basket, which has fallen over the past several weeks and reached its lowest point in nearly four years.

"The price of oil is falling. It keeps falling steadily and we believe... we must coordinate some type of action" to reverse that trend, Ramirez said, adding that he is "convinced" prices have slid because of "manipulation aimed at creating economic problems for the big oil-producing countries". "This is a price that doesn't suit anyone. Prices are at around $80 a barrel and there's very significant over-production".

On Friday, the oil and mining ministry, which Ramirez headed until a cabinet shake-up last month, said the average price of Venezuelan crude for the week ending Oct 10 was $82.72. The price of Venezuelan oil had not been that low since falling to $82.23 Dec 17, 2010.

The average price of Venezuela's crude basket thus far in 2014 is $94.99, lower than the average price of $98.08 for 2013 and $103.42 for 2012.

In a statement on its website, the ministry attributed the slide in crude prices to expectations of a global economic slowdown and ample crude supplies in the main consumer centres.

The OPEC basket price fell more than $4 this week to $89.34, marking its fourth straight weekly drop, according to Venezuelan government figures.

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