Saturday, November 17, 2007

OPEC summit starts with 200-dollar oil warning

From Agence France Presse:

OPEC leaders began a summit on Saturday with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez issuing a chilling warning about oil prices in a speech that also urged the group to be actively involved in foreign policy.

The fiery leftist leader warned in an opening speech that crude prices could double from their current already-record level of near 100 dollars a barrel if the United States attacked Iran or Venezuela.

"If the United States was mad enough to attack Iran or aggress Venezuela again the price of a barrel of oil could reach 150 dollars or even 200 dollars," he said.

He urged assembled leaders from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, meeting for only the third time in the cartel's 47-year history, to club together for geopolitical

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:
Venezuela refinery outage hits local gas market

A problem at the key cat cracker unit of the 200,000 barrels per day Puerto la Cruz refinery has hurt gasoline supply to the Venezuelan market since Friday, the state oil company PDVSA said on Saturday.

An unspecified "event" at what is a refinery's most important unit prevented PDVSA mixing gasoline at the refinery for 48 hours, the company said in a statement.

That meant that since Friday, the company could not maintain normal supplies to some local gasoline stations, PDVSA added.

Venezuela is an OPEC member, the No. 4 U.S. oil supplier, and holds some of the largest reserves outside the Middle East.

Accidents, power failures and creaking infrastructure problems have caused repeated outages at the South American nation's refineries in the last few years....From Reuters