OPEC to keep pumping at full flow

Washington, May 28 :

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel appears set to maintain its oil output levels at a meeting in Vene-zuela, reluctant to rock a high-flying market that is reaping its 11 m-embers a bonanza of petrodollars.

The OPEC will hold its latest talks in Caracas on Thursday — giving Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez a high-profile stage to exhibit his anti-US rhetoric. In an unusual move, Chavez himself will address the meeting of OPEC oil ministers. Venezuela, OPEC’s only Latin American member, has call-ed for the cartel to cut its output.

Analysts believe that the call by Chavez’s government will receive short shrift from the other OPEC members led by the cartel’s kingpin, Saudi Arabia.

But Venezuela is likely to persist with proposals to price oil in euros rather than dollars, and for OPEC to adopt a minimum target price of $50 a barrel.