Venezuela Urges OPEC And Non-OPEC Producers To Meet In February


CARACAS, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Venezuela Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino said on Thursday low prices were not covering production costs in the country and proposed OPEC and non-OPEC producers meet in February.

"We are well below equilibrium prices," said the minister, who is also head of state oil company PDVSA, according to a series of tweets from the Oil Ministry and PDVSA.

Price hawk Venezuela has repeatedly been calling for an emergency meeting to discuss steps to prop up prices, which are at their lowest since 2003. Del Pino said $60 per barrel was a fair level.

But Gulf members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have been rebuffing Venezuela's push for a special meeting.

The price crash has compounded a recession in Venezuela, where economic problems cost President Nicolas Maduro's government its control of parliament in legislative elections last month and are reviving investor jitters over a possible default.

Venezuela is among several South American countries now selling oil for less than what it costs to produce.

"We have a cost per barrel well below the current price of crude," del Pino said.

"We are consulting with various ministers of producing nations to arrange an extraordinary OPEC meeting. ... We want to invite non-OPEC nations."

(Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang)


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