Venezuela Oil Minister Says 'No Need for OPEC to Increase Oil Output'



CARACAS (Dow Jones Newswires), July 29, 2008

Venezuela plans to maintain its stance not to increase oil output at the upcoming meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the oil minister said Tuesday.

"We maintain our position that we see no need for OPEC to increase oil output," Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez told reporters. "It would be a mistake to increase output and flood the market with oil since this would lead to a price collapse."

Ramirez noted that the latest developments in oil prices indicate that market speculation is at fault. "For the price of (the barrel of) oil to go up or down $20 in such a short period of time, it indicates speculation is an issue," he said.

Venezuela, considered a price hawk within OPEC, is expected to meet with other nations at the upcoming ordinary OPEC meeting in Vienna in early September.

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