Venezuela To Nominate Oil Minister for OPEC Post

Venezuela has decided to nominate the country's oil minister, Alvaro Silva, for OPEC's top position at the cartel's June meeting, according to a ministry spokesman. "Yes, we're proposing Minister Silva," the spokesman said. There is speculation that the country will likely retain the top post when the current Secretary-General, Ali Rodriguez, returns to Venezuela to run PDVSA.

It is unclear whom Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez would name to replace Silva as minister of energy and mines. Current deputy oil minister Bernardo Alvarez is a contender. Some within PDVSA are hoping board member Jorge Kamkoff will be nominated for the position.

A 72-year-old lawyer, Silva has been involved in oil politics for half a century and has helped draft several of Venezuela's petroleum laws, including the 2001 hydrocarbons law and the 1976 nationalization law.