Ali Rodriguez Venezuela Energy Ministry and OPEC President said Wednesday that he expects world oil demand to grow next year by around 1.5 million barrels a day.
"If the world economy grows as foreseen, world oil demand next year could increase by 1.5 million barrels a day," and added that the group won't adjust its price band mechanism but will work to maneuver oil prices into its $22 to $28 per barrel range.
"Demand is growing during this quarter as foreseen, but it's impossible to determine by how much. It all depends on how the U.S. winter will turn out," said Rodriguez, who is also Venezuela's oil minister.
Speaking on the way in to a council of ministers meeting, he said prices will start to moderate after the first quarter of 2001. "With all certainty, we'll see a moderation of oil prices after the first quarter of 2001," he said to reporters.
Rodriguez, who is also Venezuela's Oil Minister, said that more time is needed to assess the effects of the 500,000 barrels a day output hike triggered under the price band mechanism Monday.
He reiterated that market fundamentals are not currently responsible for high crude prices, reported Dow Jones News Wire.
He reiterated OPEC's commitment to the price-band mechanism and rejected reports that Venezuela wants to be paid in euros instead of dollars, like Iraq, as suggested by some in the markets, reported Bridge News.
OPEC's basket of seven crude oils averaged $30.49 a barrel Monday,
compared with $30.91/bbl Friday, according to OPEC's news agency
By Elio Ohep
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)