( Reuters ) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez predicted on Friday record world oil prices would continue to rise in what would be a concern for consumer nations worried about crude's impact on inflation in their economies.
"Everything indicates that the oil price will continue to get stronger," Chavez, a price hawk in OPEC, said during a political speech, without elaborating.
On Friday, oil prices fell from peaks above $103 a barrel as Turkey's withdrawal of troops from northern Iraq eased geopolitical tensions, clipping the fund-driven rally to new inflation-adjusted highs.
OPEC meets next week under pressure from consumer nations to hike output to help tame prices. But the export group appears unlikely to adjust its supplies in a position strongly supported by the leftist, anti-U.S. Venezuelan president.
Venezuela's Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez later said that OPEC was unlikely to alter supplies at the meeting because of uncertainty about the U.S. economy.
The South American nation has some of the largest reserves outside the Middle East and is the No. 4 exporter to the United States.