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Venezuela’s Oil Minister To Discuss OPEC Deal With Saudis, Russians

OPEC

Venezuela’s Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino, who was appointed again as minister last week, plans to visit Saudi Arabia and Russia ahead of the September 22 meeting of the joint OPEC/non-OPEC panel set up to monitor the cuts, Russia’s TASS news agency reported on Monday, quoting Del Pino as saying.

Del Pino had served as Venezuela’s oil minister until January this year, when he was replaced by Nelson Martinez. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reshuffled again the government and the top management of embattled state-held oil firm PDVSA, replacing Martinez with Del Pino, and appointing Martinez to run the close-to-default state oil company.

Del Pino now plans to embark on a 10-day tour ahead of the next meeting of the Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) in Vienna, and plans to visit Moscow and Riyadh. The Venezuelan minister will discuss the implementation of the production cut deal with the respective leaders of the OPEC and non-OPEC nations party to the agreement and “the introduction of changes, if need be”, according to Russian media.

The Venezuelan minister did not elaborate on details, while Russia’s energy ministry has not yet confirmed Del Pino’s visit, Russian media report.

The oil market is moving in the right direction towards rebalancing, but all options, including extending the cuts beyond March 2018, are left open, the JMMC said at the end of its latest meeting last week.

Venezuela’s oil revenues account for 95 percent of its export earnings—almost the entire foreign cash it can get. But its oil production is falling not only because it is keeping its agreement with OPEC, but also because it simply cannot afford to reinvest in its oil industry—for years it has had to use its oil revenues to pay for imported goods. Venezuela’s oil production has declined by a fifth over the past two years, to 1.93 million bpd in July, from an average of 2.375 million bpd in 2015.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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