BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Venezuela sees international crude oil prices holding at around $100 per barrel, the country’s Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said in an interview published by Argentine newspaper Pagina 12 on Sunday.
London’s benchmark Brent crude rose around 2.5 percent to nearly $109 per barrel on Friday, tracking the U.S. market and reacting to worries about tighter Brent supply caused by maintenance of oil fields in the North Sea.
“We think that the international price per barrel will remain around $100,” the paper quoted Ramirez as saying.
“Despite the economic crisis in the United States and Europe, which provoked a fall in demand, other elements ... influence the price: the political destabilization of the Middle East, events in North Africa, what is happening in Syria and the permanent threats over Iran.”
Ramirez said in Brazil this week he saw no need for an emergency OPEC meeting because global crude prices were showing signs of recovering, and said $100 a barrel was a fair price.
Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA PDVSA.UL, the economic engine of President Hugo Chavez’s socialist policies, is working on projects with Argentina’s YPF (YPFD.BA), which President Cristina Fernandez decided to nationalize this year from under Spain’s Repsol (REP.MC).
Argentina’s government seized a 51 percent stake in YPF from Repsol in May, arguing it had not invested enough to sustain oil and natural gas production amid booming demand. Repsol rejects the accusation.
Writing by Simon Gardner; Editing by Vicki Allen