Crisis-hit Venezuela to press for change in Opec's policy


Almost a year ago Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela’s long-serving former oil minister, emerged from a tense meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) looking red faced and furious.

Within the privacy of Opec’s steel-clad secretariat building in Vienna’s quiet Helferstorferstrasse,

Ramirez had remonstrated angrily with his counterpart from Saudi Arabia, Ali al-Naimi, about the urgent need for the group of major oil producers to push up the price of crude back to a level around $100 per barrel...

In a recent interview with Reuters, Ramirez said he wants Opec to cut production by introducing a series of price bands starting at $70 per barrel. The proposals he said would be formally presented for discussion at a meeting of “technical experts” which Opec is convening on October 21. This has potentially put Venezuela and its close allies within Opec, including Algeria, Nigeria and Iran, on a collision course with Al-Naimi and his Gulf Arab clique who still appear determined to maintain their current strategy.

According to Opec’s former president, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, a change in policy is unlikely without any cuts in production being matched by countries outside the group such as Russia and Mexico. (by Andrew Critchlow, Commodities editor. The Telegraph)