Maduro Discusses Oil Prices As he Ends OPEC Tour

Venezuelan President traveled to Algeria to hold high-level discussions surrounding the sharp decline in oil prices. 

Maduro in AlgeriaThe stability of oil prices topped the agenda of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s last meeting of his international tour with Algerian officials Tuesday.

Algeria was the final fellow OPEC nation Maduro visited on the trip. Others included Saudi Arabia and Iran, where he called for greater cooperation to shore up the price of oil.

The importance of guaranteeing the stability of oil prices

Ahead of his meeting with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Maduro told Algerian state news agency APS that the talks would “focus on OPEC and the importance of guaranteeing the stability of oil prices.” He also noted the importance of avoiding using oil prices as an economic and geopolitical weapon.

But there will be no emergency OPEC meeting, Maduro confirmed, despite the falling oil prices, because there was no consensus among members.

Algeria and Venezuela are among the OPEC members that have been urging a cut in oil output, the value of which has declined to under US$50 per barrel this week for the first time since 2009. However, Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s dominant member state and the world’s biggest oil exporter, has repeatedly said the group will not cut production.

Algerian officials have also been holding meetings on how to manage the price fall. The country is heavily dependent on its oil revenue, which provides 97 percent of its hard currency income and 60 percent of the budget.

Venezuela accounts for nearly 50 percent of world reserves, and its national budget relies on the stability in oil prices.

Since June 2014, the international price of a barrel of oil has declined 40 percent, in a large part because the United States has enormously increased its production via fracking.

Source:  Maduro Discusses Oil Prices As he Ends OPEC Tour  TeleSUR

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