CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday that the price of crude oil would not return to $100 per barrel.
Maduro, who was speaking to parliament, did not say what timeframe he was referring to, but his comment came in the context of preparing Venezuelans for a major cut in revenues thanks to the fall in global crude prices since mid-2014.
"Oil will not go back to $100 ... We have less foreign currency ... But God will provide," he said in the speech, promising that all Venezuela's budget commitments would be honored in 2015 despite the nation's plunging revenues.
Global oil prices LCOc1 have tumbled almost 60 percent since June, hitting five-year lows as growing production and tepid global demand has caused a supply glut and prompted oil producers to scale back spending. [O/R]
Maduro said Venezuela's crude, which trades at a discount to other benchmarks due to its greater heavy-oil content, was at $38 a barrel - compared with $99 in June.
NYMEX crude for March delivery CLc1 traded at $47.28 a barrel late on Wednesday.
Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer and Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Alan Crosby