Venezuela Oil Min: No Need For OPEC to Raise Output

QUITO, Jan 7, 2008 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Venezuelan Energy minister Rafael Ramirez said Monday he doesn't see a need for a production hike by the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC.

"At the moment it doesn't seem necessary to increase OPEC production, and the price of around $100 per barrel is a fair price if you take into account several factor, among them the devaluation of the dollar," said Ramirez.

The Venezuelan oil minister also said that "the time of cheap oil is over."

Ramirez arrived in Quito to sign a series of new agreements between Petroleos de Venezuela, or PdVSA, Venezuela's state oil company, and Petroecuador, Ecuador's state-owned oil company.

In the press briefing, Ramirez and Ecuadorian energy minister Galo Chiriboga also announced that the two state-owned companies will jointly exploit and develop the Ayacucho 5 bloc in Venezuela's Orinoco oil belt.

QUITO, Jan 7, 2008 (Dow Jones Newswires)