Will OPEC Go Along with Chavez' Ambitions? (int'l edition)

The Venezuelan leader sees a bigger cartel vying with the U.S.

Not long ago, Venezuela was OPEC's rebellious child. The world's sixth-largest oil producer openly flouted the cartel's quotas while it charged ahead on an ambitious plan to double crude output to 6 million barrels per day by 2007. For a while, Caracas even toyed with the idea of dropping out of the club, which it helped found back in 1960.

But Venezuela's days as an OPEC renegade ended the day Hugo Chavez became President. Since taking office in February of 1999, the left-leaning populist has been on a quest to catapult Venezuela into the leadership of the cartel. He has made some headway: in March, OPEC appointed Venezuelan Energy & Mines Minister Ali Rodriguez president, and later agreed to adopt his proposal for an oil-price stabilization mechanism. And Chavez' big moment will come Sept. 27-28, when he will play host at OPEC'S 40-year anniversary celebration in Caracas.

Chavez loves OPEC. The question is whether OPEC can learn to love Chavez. He certainly has his sights set on some grand projects. Among the items up for discussion at the Caracas summit are an OPEC university, to oversee research and development of new technologies for the industry, and strategic alliances between the cartel's members in areas such as exploration. Chavez also wants to open up the club's membership to other oil producers, including Russia, Mexico, Norway, Oman, and Angola, whose delegates will be attending the meeting as observers. ''Chavez is a dreamer,'' says Mazhar Al-Shereidah, oil policy professor at the Central University of Venezuela. ''Senior members of OPEC are not easily going to go along [with his proposals].''

This entry was posted on 17 de febrero de 2010. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

Leave a Reply

Con la tecnología de Blogger.