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Global oil price should be a minimum of US$70: Venezuela's Maduro

A shake-up of Saudi Arabia's oil leadership by King Salman has introduced a new element of unpredictability to its energy policymaking at a moment when Riyadh is grappling with slumping crude prices and its war in neighbouring Yemen.

[CARACAS] The global price of oil, which has slid more than half in the last year, should be a minimum US$70 per barrel in order for necessary petroleum investments to be maintained, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said.

Opec member Venezuela relies on crude for more than 95 percent of revenues and is one of the worst-hit producers by the fall in prices from more than US$100 a year ago.

Brent futures were at US$48.43 on Tuesday, while US crude was at US$45.05 a barrel.

"All the big oil investments need, at a minimum, a price of $70 to be sustainable," Mr Maduro said at a Cabinet meeting late on Monday night.

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"If that's not the case, take note, investments will fall, and stocks will not be replaced by investment, and in one year we will have a price of US$200," he added in comments shown live on state TV.

Mr Maduro was speaking after a trip to Vietnam, China and Qatar where he sought to promote an emergency summit for heads of state of Opec countries to defend prices. Venezuela wants non-Opec producers like Russia to join such a meeting.

However, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' relatively wealthy members in the Gulf appear to have little enthusiasm for a summit. They drove the group's strategy shift last year to allow prices to fall to defend market share.

Venezuela is known as an oil price hawk, and a severe recession and product shortages have heightened Mr Maduro's need for an oil market recovery, especially ahead of a Dec 6 parliamentary election.

Last year, Mr Maduro had said US$100 per barrel was a "fair" price.