May 20, 2008 / 7:33 PM / 11 years ago

Venezuela, OPEC Sec-Gen say oil market well supplied

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela’s Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez and OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri agree oil markets are well-supplied, Venezuela’s energy ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Badri, who is currently visiting Venezuela, met with Ramirez to discuss the situation of the international oil market and production by OPEC member nations, agreeing current prices have nothing to do with oil production levels.

“Prices have risen substantially because of speculative problems, because of the devaluation of the dollar and global inflation,” said Ramirez.

He said the U.S. economy is in a “situation of crisis” that is affecting the dollar and boosting the price of oil as well as the price of food around the world.

“This has generated a situation in which financial actors are migrating to what are called futures contracts, which are considered safer than other investments.”

Badri is slated to meet with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, he will travel to Ecuador, a small oil producer that recently rejoined OPEC after dropping out in the 1990s.

Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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