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Venezuela minister to visit oil-producing nations in effort on oil prices

Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino on Saturday will begin a tour of OPEC and non-OPEC countries as part of an effort to reach consensus among oil-producing countries on a strategy for boosting crude prices, President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday.
Cash-strapped Venezuela has for months sought to rally producers toward an agreement to limit production as a way of controlling a global supply glut, but major oil exporters appear more focused on preserving market share than raising prices.

“Tomorrow he leaves on an OPEC and non-OPEC tour,” Maduro said in a televised broadcast, without detailing which countries Del Pino would visit.

“I call on all energy players in the world, OPEC, non-OPEC … so that we can really get to work on this.”

He said $70 (£54.16) per barrel would be “reasonably fair” and called it a “necessary and easily obtainable goal.”

Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez will accompany Del Pino on the tour, Maduro said.

Russia, the world’s largest oil producer, said on Monday it does not see any ground for new talks on freezing oil output but said it was open to negotiations.

Since the plunge in oil prices in 2014, Venezuela has repeatedly tried to broker deals to freeze production and reduce a supply glut, with limited success. OPEC members and other producers including Russia did not manage to reach an agreement on freezing supply at a meeting held in Doha in April.

OPEC members are scheduled to meet informally in September.

Venezuela, which receives almost all of its foreign exchange from oil, is suffering an economic crisis that has left it with the world’s highest inflation and chronic shortages of food and medicine.

Maduro says his government is the victim of an “economic war” led by political adversaries with the help of Washington.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Deisy Buitrago; Writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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