Venezuela: Oil could hit $100

The oil minister of Venezuela - the world's fifth-largest oil exporter - has said that oil prices could reach $100 a barrel.

    Hugo Chavez (L) is visiting fellow OPEC member Qatar

    Rafael Ramirez said prices were still lower today in real terms than during the oil crisis of the 1970s, but that could change.

    "The prices we are seeing today are in today's dollars,” Ramirez said, on Thursday.

    "For us to have the same amount of revenues that we had in 1970, '74, you'd have to put the oil price close to $100 a barrel.

    They could reach that given certain factors."

    Oil prices rose above $74.50 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday as concerns increased after fresh attacks on pipelines in Nigeria.

    Ramirez said it was "not possible" to return to earlier prices of about $20 a barrel.

    "At some point they [oil prices] will stabilize but we have to wait," he said.

    Geopolitical problems

    Earlier on Thursday, Ramirez told Venevision television that "geopolitical problems" have driven up energy prices in a way that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries is powerless to stop.

    Ramirez said Venezuela will discuss oil prices with other OPEC members in Qatar, where some ministers are gathered for a natural gas conference.

    The oil minister said the limits of worldwide refining capacity and OPEC members' inability to boost output made it difficult to counteract price rises.

    OPEC members will next meet in Vienna in September.

    Ramirez is travelling with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who arrived in Qatar on Thursday after a visit to Russia.

    Chavez is making his fifth trip to Qatar in as many years. During his last visit, in March 2005, the two countries signed a series of economic cooperation accords.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Pie peace: My last argument with my sister

    Pie peace: My last argument with my sister

    In a family of 13 siblings, Lori was militant in her maternal agenda; making prom dresses and keeping watch over pie.

    From the US to Afghanistan: Rediscovering the mother who left me

    From the US to Afghanistan: Rediscovering the mother who left me

    Tracee Herbaugh's mother, Sharon, abandoned her when she was born, pursuing a career from which she never returned.

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    For Ethiopia, a new dam holds the promise of much-needed electricity; for Egypt, the fear of a devastating water crisis.