Venezuela to Push for 5% Output Cut at OPEC Meeting

Reuters

CARACAS, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday reiterated his hopes for OPEC action ahead of the group's meeting this week, adding the South American country was pushing for a 5 percent output cut to shore up prices.

Venezuela has consistently urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to make production cuts, but OPEC policy has so far been driven by Saudi Arabia's insistence on maintaining output to defend market share.

"Our (oil) minister Eulogio del Pino will put forth a very clear proposal to respect production ceilings ... and examine a 5 percent cut in production," Maduro said towards the end of a four-hour television program.

"The hour has come to put the oil market in order."

Venezuela, which obtains 96 percent of its foreign revenue from oil exports, has suffered from a tumble in oil prices to $45 per barrel from as much as $115 a barrel some 18 months ago.

OPEC members face a tough meeting in Vienna on Friday, delegates and officials said, as country members pump record volumes amid an uncertain demand outlook and as the prospects of a U.S. interest rate hike could push oil prices even lower.

The current policy of defending market share against surging rival suppliers has somewhat reduced the pace of the U.S. shale oil boom and non-OPEC supplies are set to decline next year.

However, it won't be enough to stop the glut from increasing as non-OPEC Russia and OPEC member Iraq have steeply raised supply.

(Reporting by Girish Gupta and Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Richard Pullin)

Copyright 2016 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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