On the eve of the OPEC Summit next Wednesday, speculation that Venezuela is producing more than its quote has led to a decrease in oil prices, benefiting the economies of the world’s industrialised nations. However, Venezuela denies the rumours.
The International Energy Agency has claimed that Caracas has increased its daily oil production by 180,000 barrels, to 2.68m. b/d (barrels per day), whereas the quote was set by the OPEC cartel at 2.49m. b/d, an accusation which has been flatly denied by Venezuela.
However, the rumour was enough to send oil prices down. On Friday afternoon, the price per barrel of Brent (North Sea oil) to be delivered in April (the reference for the International Petroleum Exchange in London), was fixed at 24.39 USD, down from a high of 25.10 USD on Friday morning.
In New York, the gross reference price for delivery in August was 67 cents down at 25.28 USD.
OPEC has declared that it will not increase or decrease production, unless Iraq reduces its oil exports.
John ASHTEAD PRAVDA.Ru LONDON UNITED KINGDOM