The global price of oil, which has slid more than half in the last year, should be a minimum $70 per barrel in order for necessary petroleum investments to be maintained, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said. OPEC member Venezuela relies on crude for more than 95 percent of revenues and is one of the worst-hit producers by the fall in prices from more than $100 a year ago.
Brent futures were at $48.43 on Tuesday, while U.S. crude was at $45.05 a barrel. “All the big oil investments need, at a minimum, a price of $70 to be sustainable,” Maduro said at a cabinet meeting late on Monday night. “If that’s not the case, take note, investments will fall, and stocks will not be replaced by investment, and in one year we will have a price of $200,” he added in comments shown live on state TV.
Maduro was speaking after a trip to Vietnam, China and Qatar where he sought to promote an emergency summit for heads of state of OPEC countries to defend prices. Venezuela wants non-OPEC producers like Russia to join such a meeting.
However, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ relatively wealthy members in the Gulf appear to have little enthusiasm for a summit. They drove the group’s strategy shift last year to allow prices to fall to defend market share.
Venezuela is known as an oil price hawk, and a severe recession and product shortages have heightened Maduro’s need for an oil market recovery, especially ahead of a Dec. 6 parliamentary election. Last year, Maduro had said $100 per barrel was a “fair” price.