Venezuela Oil Minister Predicts No Change on OPEC Output

Venezuelan Oil Minister Alvaro Silva said he doesn't see a change in OPEC output when oil ministers meet Friday in Vienna. Upon arriving in Vienna after visiting Russia, Silva said he expects major non-OPEC producer nations to continue their output cuts throughout the second quarter of the year. "We don't see a notable change...that they don't want to cooperate with OPEC," Silva said in a statement.

OPEC pledged to remove 1.5 million barrels a day of oil from the world market effective January 1, 2002 and non-OPEC producers pledged a simultaneous 462,500 barrel per day cut. OPEC is still aiming for an average price of $25/bbl. Silva declined to say whether OPEC is set to increase its oil production later in the year, but added that an output hike could come under its price-band mechanism.