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Saudi energy minister: We are monitoring Venezuela crisis

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The crisis in OPEC member Venezuela, where the president is locked in a power struggle with the opposition, could impact the oil market, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told Al Arabiya on Monday.

“Of course, developments in Venezuela may have an effect on the markets... We are monitoring developments there, and there could be an impact on the oil market balance,” al-Falih told Al Arabiya in Riyadh on the sidelines of the launch of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program.

Oil production in Venezuela has dropped sharply in past months from over two million barrels per day to around 1.4 million bpd.

OPEC members and their non-cartel producers late last year decided to cut output by 1.2 million bpd to shore up sluggish prices.

The six-month agreement that includes major non-OPEC producer Russia took effect from the beginning of this month.

Falih said it was premature to say if the production cuts deal would be extended.

(With AFP)