Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino fears crude oil prices will slip below $20 per barrel if OPEC doesn’t take immediate action to stabilize the oil market.
Officials in Venezuela are urging the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to adopt an “equilibrium price” that covers the cost of new investment in production capacity.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar are considering his country’s proposal for an equilibrium price at $88 a barrel.
Crude oil prices have declined 44% in the last 12 months with OPEC supplying approximately 40% of the world’s oil production.
OPEC has passed its official output ceiling of 30 million barrels a day for 17 months as it defends its share of the market.
Benchmark Brent crude settled at $44.66 a barrel in London on Friday.
“We cannot allow that the market continue controlling the price,” Del Pino said. “The principles of OPEC were to act on the price of the crude oil, and we need to go back to the principles of OPEC.”
OPEC ministers will meet informally on December 3 in Vienna, a day before the group’s formal session, he said.