Ramirez, Venezuela's oil minister, recently said he did not expect
a significant drop in oil prices this year, the Associated Press
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.
traditional spike in demand for crude oil at the start of the
winter season should also keep prices within that range, AP said.
also said uncertainty over Iraqi oil exports and its status within
OPEC would make global oil prices more volatile in 2004.