PDVSA Warns Clients of Output Cut

Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA is telling customers it plans to reduce production in line with a 138,000b/d cutback agreed with OPEC.

"A letter is being sent to all foreign consumers of Venezuelan crude explaining to them our sovereign position and the cut of 138,000b/d we will make starting on November 1," PDVSA president and energy and oil minister Rafael Ramirez said, according to a posting on the company website.

Ramirez also forecast oil prices could keep on dropping but would always remain above the US$8-10/b levels seen in 1998.

"The price of a barrel will not go back to US$30/b due to structural factors," he said.

OPEC's 11 members are taking out a total of 1.2Mb/d of crude from the market. Ramirez told BNamericas last week a proposal is afoot to reduce production another 300,000b/d, which coupled with unilateral cuts from Venezuela and Nigeria would bring the total of OPEC crude leaving the market this year to 1.7Mb/d. However, the current pre-reduction output ceiling of 28Mb/d was OPEC's highest in 25 years.

To honor the commitment, Venezuela will cut back on production of its heaviest cheapest crudes, the minister said.

OPEC's next meeting will take place on December 14 in Nigerian capital Abuja.

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