Crude oil prices moved up
nearly 2 percent Jan. 13 to $32.26 a barrel as traders remained
skeptical that new production would immediately make a difference.
Overall, oil prices have increased 64 percent in the past year.
In an emergency meeting Jan.
12, OPEC agreed to raise production by 1.5 million barrels a day
in response to the supply loss caused by a strike in Venezuela.
Oil traders also bid up prices
after reports that two Norwegian oil fields in the North Sea would
close due to technical problems. This could further trim world oil
supplies, despite the OPEC production increase, according to press
Meanwhile, trouble in Venezuela
continued as soldiers seized most of the heavy weapons and anti-riot
equipment from Caracas' police. This happened after President Hugo
Chavez threatened to increase the military's control over the force
and accused it of siding with his opponents, The Associated Press reported.
Troops searched most of the
capital's police stations at dawn and confiscated all weapons except
.38 revolvers, Police Chief Henry Vivas said. The seizure could
raise tensions in a 44-day-old general strike aimed at ousting Chavez,
which has been marked by almost daily street protests, including
clashes between Chavez supporters and opponents.