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OPEC Leader Says Dollar Will Drive Oil to $170

OPEC Leader Says Dollar Will Drive Oil to $170

Bloomberg
June 28, 2008

OPEC President Chakib Khelil predicted that the price of oil will climb to $170 a barrel before the end of the year, citing the dollar’s decline and political conflicts.

“Oil prices are expected to reach $170 as demand for fuel is growing in the U.S. during the summer period and the dollar continues to weaken against the euro,’’ Khelil said today in a telephone interview. The leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries also serves as Algeria’s oil minister.

Political pressure on Iran and the depreciation of the U.S. currency have caused a surge in oil prices, Khelil said. New York- traded crude has more than doubled in a year and touched a record $142.99 a barrel yesterday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

OPEC ministers generally say that oil output is sufficient, even as Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer, pledged to pump an extra 200,000 barrels a day next month to calm the market. “The market is completely supplied,’’ Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said yesterday. Libya announced possible production cuts, calling the market oversupplied.

The rising cost of crude is not linked to supply, Khelil said today. “There is more than enough oil in the market to meet the international demand,’’ added the OPEC president, who will take part June 30 in an international energy forum in Madrid.

Prices, which are up 38 percent this quarter, are heading for the biggest quarterly gain since the first three months of 1999, when oil traded between $11 and $17.

Declining Dollar

“The decisions made by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank helped the devaluation of the dollar, which pushed up oil prices,’’ Khelil said.

Oil may extend gains if the ECB boosts rates on July 3, further weakening the U.S. currency. The dollar has declined 15 percent against the euro in 12 months.

ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet reiterated June 25 that policy makers may increase the main refinancing rate by a quarter-percentage point next month to contain inflation. The Federal Reserve left the benchmark U.S. rate at 2 percent on June 25. On Sept. 18 the Fed began cutting rates to bolster an economy already reeling from the credit crisis.

 



Venezuela Opts For Euros In Oil Contracts

Venezuela Opts For Euros In Oil Contracts

AFP
March 16, 2008

Venezuelan state oil giant PDVSA has decided to sign some oil contracts in euros in the face of a plummeting dollar, local media reported, citing officials.

“There are some contracts in euros, contracts for crude, products and spot markets in euros. This is a subject which we are working on,” said energy minister and Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) chief, Rafael Ramirez, in an interview with the journal El Universal published Friday.

It remained unclear which oil sales would require payment in euros.

Venezuela, Latin America’s leading petroleum producer, has previously backed Iran’s proposals for OPEC to abandon the dollar and use the euro for oil pricing. But the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has rejected the idea, at least in the short-term.

The head of the journal Petroleum World, Elio Ohep, said the shift to euros was “good business” for Venezuela.

“PDVSA always had an interest to negotiate in dollars because the company had refineries in the United States and needed cash but currently with the euro rising, it is taking in more dollars and (Venezuelan) bolivars,” he said.

The dollar hit new lows this week against the euro and yen, with the euro at 1.5669 dollars at 21000 GMT on Friday.

Venezuela produces 3.3 million barrels of oil a day, according to official figures, and 2.4 million according to the International Energy Agency. Half of its production is sold to the United States market.

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Chavez: Bush is genocidal terrorist

Press TV
March 17, 2008

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has criticized US President George W. Bush for his latest remarks and called him a genocidal terrorist.

Chavez made the remarks on Sunday after President Bush accused him of supporting ’terrorists’ in neighboring Colombia and fueling an anti-American campaign last week.

“The president of the United States himself has come out and attacked us and attacked me personally, calling me a demagogue. Well, I am calling him a terrorist and genocidal,” AFP quoted Chavez as saying.

“And now Bush says I have Venezuelans here going hungry,” he added, insisting Bush should take a look at the economic conditions in the United States.

“Venezuelan people today are better fed than ever,” Chavez said. “The people taking hits from their own government are in the United States, which has an economic crisis. “

Last week, the US president said that Venezuela ’has squandered its oil wealth to promote its hostile anti-American vision, and it has left its own citizens to face food shortages while it threatens its neighbors’.

Chavez goads U.S. over terrorism blacklist, sanctions
http://www.rawstory.com/news/mo..over_terrorism_bla_03142008.html

Record oil divorced from fundamentals-OPEC delegate
http://www.reuters.com/article/hotStocksNews/idUSL168473720080316

Chavez: I dare Bush to call us terrorist
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=47638&sectionid=351020704