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Saudi Energy Minister: Venezuela’s Crisis Has Had No Impact On Oil Market

The political crisis in Venezuela has not had an impact on the oil market and there is no need for any additional measures, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told Russian news agency RIA Novosti in an interview on Monday.

Al-Falih said he had not discussed the turmoil in Venezuela with his colleagues at OPEC.  

No one has proposed the holding of an extraordinary meeting of OPEC and its non-OPEC partners over the chaos in OPEC member Venezuela, Alexander Novak, the energy minister of the non-OPEC leader Russia, said last week.

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the president of the National Assembly, declared himself interim president last Wednesday, and the United States supported him against Nicolas Maduro, whom the U.S. Administration declared an “usurper” with no legitimacy to the presidency.

Countries around the world have started to take sides, backing one of the two leaders claiming to be president of the crisis-stricken Latin American nation that holds the world’s largest crude oil reserves. 

The European Union “strongly calls for the urgent holding of free, transparent and credible presidential elections in accordance with internationally democratic standards and the Venezuelan constitutional order,” the EU said on Saturday. “In the absence of an announcement on the organisation of fresh elections with the necessary guarantees over the next days, the EU will take further actions, including on the issue of recognition of the country’s leadership in line with article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution,” the EU warned.

Germany, Spain, and France gave Maduro eight days to call elections, otherwise they would recognize Guaidó as president.

Maduro on Sunday rejected the ultimatum.

While Saudi Arabia’s al-Falih sees no need for market intervention, analysts told CNBC on Monday that Venezuela is back in the spotlight of the oil market.

“Oil’s ticking time bomb is sure to detonate at some point and the price reaction will be anything but muted,” CNBC quoted Stephen Brennock, oil analyst at PVM Oil Associates, said in a research note published on Monday.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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