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Oil slick.

Petroleum prices hit US$50 a barrel in late September. That's both good news and bad for Latin America. Countries like Venezuela, Mexico and Ecuador finance their public spending heavily from oil-export revenues. Yet in places like Chile, where about 90% of oil derivatives come from imported crude, high oil prices can hurt. If oil prices prompt the United States to raise interest rates, too, the whole region would feel it.

"Venezuela will likely remain in high gear through 2005."

--Jose Cerritelli, an analyst for investment bank Bear Stearns (The Miami Herald)

"We are facing a significant increase in oil prices that can speed up monetary restriction in industrialized economies."

--Nicolas Eyzaguirre, Chilean finance minister (Economia y Negocios)

"Security is in the hands of producing and consuming countries alike: That responsibility is not incumbent only on countries with the largest oil and gas reserves."

--Ali Rodriguez, president, Petroleos de Venezuela (El Universal)

"If the price of oil goes up, production always follows."

--Yves Grosjean, general director of Total Austral in Argentina (El Clarin)

"We have nothing, really, to fall back on."

--Robert Ebel, director of the energy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Associated Press)

"We are consuming our reserves at a speed that is greater than we can replenish."

--Luis Ernesto Mejia, Colombia's energy and mines minister (EFE)

"Oil prices will affect inflation expectations and domestic interest rates."

--Nathan Blanche, economist at Tendencias Consultoria in Sao Paulo (Bloomberg)
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Title Annotation:Radar; prices and rates of petroleum
Publication:Latin Trade
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:0LATI
Date:Dec 1, 2004
Words:242
Previous Article:Opening soon.
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