​Give U.S. a Seat at OPEC Output Meeting, Venezuela’s Maduro Says

Venezuela president Nicolas Maduro. Image: Flickr/Cancillería del Ecuador

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wants to invite the U.S. to OPEC’s next meeting, saying the world’s biggest crude producer should be in on talks to stabilize global crude prices.

Maduro, whose country holds the globe’s biggest oil reserves, said on Venezuelan state television Friday that he’s pushing for an “alliance" of OPEC and non-OPEC members, including the U.S. and “the most important oil companies in the world."

In talks with other nations, “they proposed inviting the government of the U.S. to the next OPEC meeting, and I agreed with that, because they are a big producer and they can’t be isolated from this and be lured by analysts, warmongers, or anti-Russia sectors,” Maduro said on the program.

The statement came during a visit to Azerbaijan, Maduro’s first stop on a world tour of oil-producing countries to raise support for a deal to boost prices by cutting output. He and his energy minister are also scheduled to visit OPEC members Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran ahead of a formal meeting of the group next month seeking to finalize a deal on production limits.

An Energy Department spokesperson said the U.S. isn’t participating in any informal discussions on an OPEC agreement or in next week’s technical session.


OPEC -- which pumps about 40 percent of the world’s crude -- agreed on Sept. 28 in Algiers to limit production to a range of 32.5 to 33 million barrels a day in a bid to reduce a supply glut that sent prices to a 12-year low earlier this year. The organization pumped 33.75 million barrels in September, according to a Bloomberg survey. The U.S. produced 8.46 million barrels a day last week, the latest government data show.

Russia is expected to participate in "technical talks" with OPEC members in Vienna on Oct. 29, about a month before the group will have its next official meeting.

Maduro said crude producers are working on “a new formula for a price setting mechanism for the next ten years."

“It’s a mechanism for stability, so that production, the market and prices can be predicted and not where you have future markets and speculators steering,” he said.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P

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