Venezuela oil minister sees oil prices staying high

| 8/18/2003

Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's oil minister, recently said he did not expect a significant drop in oil prices this year, the Associated Press reported.

Ramirez said delays in restoring Iraqi oil exports back to pre-war levels should keep prices within OPEC's targeted price range of $22 to $28 a barrel. Venezuela is a member of OPEC.

A traditional spike in demand for crude oil at the start of the winter season should also keep prices within that range, AP said.

Ramirez also said uncertainty over Iraqi oil exports and its status within OPEC would make global oil prices more volatile in 2004.