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Venezuela's Chavez welcomes lower oil prices
August 5, 2008 / 3:03 PM / 9 years ago

Venezuela's Chavez welcomes lower oil prices

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday “it’s good” that oil prices have come down, saying $150 per barrel would be irrational.

The leader of OPEC member Venezuela has said several times recently that $100 per barrel is a fair price for oil. Oil fell as low as $118 a barrel on Tuesday, extending a slide from the July 11 record high of $147.27 per barrel.

“The price of oil has been coming down and that’s good. It’s good because the price of oil should settle, we believe, near $100 a barrel,” Chavez said at a news conference in Buenos Aires where he met with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez.

“But $150 (per barrel) is irrational growth, mostly due to speculative factors,” he said.

Venezuela under the leadership of socialist Chavez has been one of OPEC’s most ardent price hawks, consistently seeking higher oil prices even as other OPEC members express worries that high prices reduce global demand.

But Chavez recently began applauding declining oil prices.

Reporting by Karina Grazina, Writing by Fiona Ortiz; editing by Jim Marshall

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