Global energy gathering “very positive” for oil price stability


Caracas—Venezuela’s Minister of Communication and Information Ernesto Villegas on Monday described a global gathering of oil producing countries as “very positive” towards stabilizing volatile crude prices.
Following the opening day of the 23rd World Energy Congress this Sunday in Istanbul, Turkey, Villegas told state-run VTV “it has been a very positive working day,” which should lead to “fair, realistic and stable prices.”
Venezuela’s heavily oil-dependent economy has been teetering since the price of crude nosedived in 2014, falling from more than 100 U.S. dollars a barrel to around 20 U.S. dollars.
In a phone-in interview from Turkey, Villegas said members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other energy producers were expected to reach an agreement to steady prices by the end of the congress this Thursday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as other leaders from both OPEC and non-OPEC countries, concurred “on the need to stabilize the market,” said Villegas.
Putin’s “decisive” remarks on the matter “indicate the international markets are going to see (crude demand) a greater price and stability, but above all a greater price. That is very important for all our countries,” said Villegas.
In a speech to the congress, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for the creation of “new mechanisms” to shore up prices, and proposed a 10-year plan to expand and stabilize the world oil market.
“The oil prices we have had are the lowest in 40 years,” said Maduro, adding they were “unsustainable.”
At the same time, Venezuela would also work to diversify its energy sources, said Maduro.
“We must guarantee new sources of financing and access to new technologies to create energy via the sun, wind, water and nuclear energy … for peaceful purposes,” said Maduro.
OPEC nations agreed at a gathering Sept. 28 in Algeria to set an output ceiling of 32.5 million barrels per day for 2017, slightly less than the current 33.24 million barrels.
Venezuela hopes the agreement is ratified at OPEC’s upcoming meeting in Vienna, Austria on Nov. 30, where the group will decide on the output quotas for each member nation.—Xinhua