Oil price slips as Chavez kicks off OPEC tour
Oil prices fell Monday on the international markets as the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, began a tour of OPEC countries. In London, Brent North Sea crude for September delivery fell to $28.84 a barrel from $29.37 late on Friday. In New York, light sweet crude for September delivery fell to $29.43 a barrel from $29.96 late Friday.
The losses came as Chavez began a tour of 10 OPEC countries, laying the foundations for the cartel's summit in Caracas next month. He began the nine-day tour Sunday in Saudi Arabia. He will also visit Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria and Algeria.
Speaking shortly before boarding his flight to Jeddah, Chavez said his talks with 10 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would be used to "outline the need for us to make far greater advancements in oil-related development."
Prices also came under pressure from a report in the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) stating that Iraq's oil output and exports are set to jump in August after a slump over the previous two months.
MEES said Iraq had overcome pricing problems for sour crudes in the Mediterranean and that production could now increase by a hefty 400,000-500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in August, "provided there are no industrial or political problems". Dealers said they were keenly awaiting US stock figures later in the week.
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)