Thursday, June 01, 2006

Chavez Lambastes US at OPEC Meeting

(Source Article: OPEC unites against Chavez Rhetoric -

Venezuela’s president spewed anti-US rhetoric Thursday at OPEC ministers, who responded by rejecting his demand that the cartel cut oil production.

Venezuela, one of OPEC’s founder-members, is also the 5th largest oil producer in the world. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia, another founder-member, has rallied against Venezuela’s attempts to use OPEC against the United States (e.g., pushing the idea that oil should be sold in euros instead of dollars), the cartel’s number-one customer.

OPEC produces 30 million barrels of oil a day, approximately 40% of the world’s output. Venezuela was seeking up to a 1million b/d cut in that production. Analysts warned that a further reduction in output could have adverse consequences on economic growth and increase inflation.

OPEC may grow in size as “energy nationalism”, Chavez's main goal these days, takes hold in many oil-producing countries, who see the high prices as a way to maximize their resources revenue. The cartel is, for the first time in 30 years, considering adding members—namely Sudan and Angola. Angola’s production has increased some 80% in the past 10 years to around 1.25 million barrels a day. (see Sudan and Angola at OPEC's doors -

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