Venezuela Minister Begins Tour to Discuss Oil Prices

Venezuela Minister Begins Tour to Discuss Oil PricesVenezuela Minister Begins Tour to Discuss Oil Prices

Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino on Saturday began a tour of OPEC and non-OPEC countries as part of an effort to reach consensus among oil-producing countries on a strategy for boosting crude prices, President Nicolas Maduro said in a statement.

"He (Del Pino) will leave on an OPEC and non-OPEC tour," Maduro said in a televised broadcast, without detailing which countries Del Pino would visit, Reuters reported.

"I call on all energy players in the world, OPEC, non-OPEC ... so that we can really get to work on this."

He said $70 per barrel would be "reasonably fair" and called it a "necessary and easily obtainable goal."

Cash-strapped Venezuela has for months sought to rally producers toward an agreement to limit production as a way of controlling a global supply glut, but major oil exporters appear more focused on preserving market share than raising prices.

Since the plunge in oil prices in 2014, Venezuela has repeatedly tried to broker deals to freeze production and reduce a supply glut, with limited success. OPEC members and other producers, including Russia, did not manage to reach an agreement on freezing supply at a meeting held in Doha, Qatar, in April.

Venezuela, which receives almost all of its foreign exchange from oil, is suffering an economic crisis that has left it with the world's highest inflation and chronic shortages of food and medicine.