There is no need for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase daily crude output by 500,000 barrels, Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said Monday.
Ramirez's remarks came after Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he backed a proposal for an increase in OPEC's official production limits by 1.8 percent.
"We don't see the need to increase our production ceiling by 500,000" barrels a day, said Ramirez, adding that Venezuela, a founding member of OPEC and the world's fifth largest oil exporter, will seek to "defend its price" for oil.
He said OPEC members will discuss the increase at an extraordinary meeting in Vienna on Wednesday.
OPEC's output ceiling now stands at 27.5 million barrels per day (bpd) without calculating the oil production of Iraq, but actual production is about 30 million bpd.
At the meeting in Vienna, members of the oil cartel will discuss the output policy for the second half of this year.