Chavez: $100 a 'just and right' price for oil

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he believed $100 was a "just and right" price for a barrel of oil, compared to the current price of around $125. The leader of the OPEC member state said he would be happy to see stability at that price.


LISBON, July 24 (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez said on Thursday that he saw $100 per barrel as a fair
price for oil and that his OPEC member nation does not want a
higher price than that.

Oil traded around $125 a barrel on Thursday, slightly
recovered from 7-week lows. The market's recent pullback comes
after prices hit an all-time high of $147.27 on July 11.

"If the price stabilizes around $100 it would seem just and
right,"  Chavez, in Portugal as part of his European tour, said
in remarks broadcast by Portugal's SIC television channel.

The leftist leader said the market "has been seeking a
stabilization level" in recent days and criticized "a
speculative impact" on prices, which he blamed on the
capitalist system.

"Venezuela has never wanted oil to cost more than $100,"
added Chavez, who warned 10 days ago oil prices could hit $300
per barrel if U.S. oil company Exxon Mobil again freezes
Venezuelan assets in a dispute over a nationalized oil

He also said then the collapse of a "speculative bubble"
could send prices as low as $70 per barrel.

Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez told Reuters on
Wednesday he saw no need for OPEC to change its output levels
despite the sharp drop in world crude prices over the last few

He said the market was driven by speculative factors,
prices were too unstable and there was little OPEC could do.

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