Chavez Warns USA At Opec Summit

No Comments » November 18th, 2007 posted by // Categories: Energy Development Project


Chavez Warns Us At Opec Summit



















Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, has warned that oil prices could surge to $200 if America attacks against his country or Iran.




Saudi salvo


Oil, finance and foreign ministers of Opec are meeting against the backdrop of a depreciating dollar and tension in world oil markets.




He said: “I wish to announce that the Saudi government has put US$300m in a program to finance scientific research in the fields of energy, environment and climate.”



Dollar debate


Earlier this week, Samuel Bodman, the US energy secretary called on Opec to increase production in order to halt oil price rises.


But Opec officials said they will not discuss whether or not to increase oil supplies until the group meets next month in the United Arab Emirates.


They also cast doubt on the effect any output hike would have on oil prices, saying the recent rise has been driven by the falling US dollar and financial speculation by investment funds, rather than any supply shortage.


In a closed session of foreign and finance ministers, Saudi Arabia, a close US ally, objected to a bid by Iran and Venezuela to highlight concern over the weakness of the US dollar.


The group voted the proposal out.


Abdalla Salem el-Badri, the Opec secretary-general, said the group had decided not to mention concern over dollar depreciation in the declaration.



Microphone mix-up


A microphone mistakenly left on meant that the comments of al-Faisal were accidentally broadcast to journalists on Saturday.



Embarrassed organisers switched off the microphones when they discovered their blunder.

Opec is under pressure to increase its output to help calm record crude prices that reached almost $100 a barrel for the first time last week.


Some Opec members want to increasingly sell their oil in euros and not dollars.


The Gulf Arab states and Saudi Arabia earn more than a billion dollars a day from oil sales.


Mamdouh Salameh, an international oil expert, told Al Jazeera: “Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are under the US military umbrella. Consequently, it will be anti-American decision if they shift to another currency other than the dollar.”





The dollar has fallen 10 per cent against the euro this year. This has hit oil producers and slashed income.


The falling dollar has also made imports – which countries especially in the Gulf rely on – much more expensive.


Inflation has rocketed, hitting the huge numbers of low paid foreign workers especially hard.


Now Gulf currencies, such as the UAE dirham which has been pegged to the dollar for the past 30 years, could be unpegged because of growing pressure.


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