Oil price slips on Chavez Opec tour
Oil prices fell yesterday 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 on 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 Organisation 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.00
n JEDDAH: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived yesterday in Saudi Arabia at the start of a tour of Opec countries to prepare for a September 27-30 summit of the oil cartel in Caracas, officials said.
Chavez, whose country holds the revolving presidency of Opec, was to hold talks later in the day with King Fahad and Crown Prince Abdullah ibn Abdel Aziz, leaders of the world's top oil exporting nation, a Venezuelan diplomat said.
The source, who asked not to be named, said the talks would focus on "the situation on the oil market and the means to guarantee price stability".
Saudi Information Minister Fuad bin Abdel Salam Al Farsi, meanwhile, said the two countries "play an important role in ensuring stability on the oil market and protecting the interests of producers and consumers".
Riyadh and Caracas agree on "many oil issues", he said.
During his tour, Chavez is to travel on to producers Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria and Algeria, before returning to Caracas on August 15.
Last week, Chavez underlined his support for the efforts of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries to keep control over oil output and its leverage over world prices.
"It's not about high prices, it's about fair prices," said the Venezuelan President, who won a second term in July 30 elections.
"We understand that they start to feel uneasy when crude oil prices reach $30 a barrel, but that they can imagine how it must have been for us when it fell to eight dollars," he said, referring to consumer countries.
The key objective of the 10-nation tour, however, is for Chavez to personally invite all the Opec members to attend the Caracas summit.
The Venezuelan President is expected to meet with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, becoming the first head of state to visit Baghdad since the 1991 Gulf War.
Travelling with Chavez is Venezuela's Energy Minister Ali Rodriguez, who as current President of Opec has been the lead organiser behind the summit, and Planning Minister Jorge Giordani.
© Agence France Press – 2000.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)