21 de enero de 2016 / 19:29 / en 2 años

UPDATE 3-Venezuela urges OPEC and non-OPEC producers to meet in February

(Adds del Pino on production cost, debt)

CARACAS, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Venezuela Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino called on Thursday for OPEC and non-OPEC producers to meet in February to discuss bolstering low oil prices that have hammered the recession-hit South American nation’s finances.

Del Pino said $60 per barrel would be a fair level.

“We are consulting with various ministers of producing nations to arrange an extraordinary OPEC meeting,” said del Pino, also head of state oil company PDVSA, according to Twitter postings and comments broadcast on the company’s radio.

“We want to invite non-OPEC nations because we are well below equilibrium prices ... All countries are announcing investment cuts and firing workers. It’s a sorry situation.”

Price hawk Venezuela has repeatedly been calling for an emergency meeting to discuss steps to prop up prices, which are at their lowest since 2003. But Gulf members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have been rebuffing Venezuela’s push for a special meeting.

The price crash has compounded a recession in Venezuela, where economic problems cost President Nicolas Maduro his control of parliament in legislative elections last month, and are reviving investor jitters over a possible default.

“We need a production cut that allows, for now, a stabilization of prices,” Del Pino added. “Every day it goes down $3, up $3. That does not allow us to plan.”

Del Pino said Venezuela was still producing profitably, with an average production cost of $13 per barrel.

“We have a cost per barrel well below the current price of crude,” he said, adding that the company hoped to reduce the production cost to $10.

The minister said PDVSA’s debt had dropped $2 billion by the end of 2015, compared with the previous year. “This is a big achievement, considering the unfavorable situation our country went through last year with the fall of oil prices,” he said.

Consolidated financial debt was $39.9 billion at the end of 2014, according to PDVSA’s latest results statement. (Reporting by Corina Pons, Eyanir Chinea and Diego Ore; Writing by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Alexandra Ulmer, Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Shumaker)

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