Rodriguez May Be Offered PDVSA Post

The OPEC Secretary General Ali Rodriguez extended a visit to Caracas amid speculation that the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may name him head of the country's state oil company, an OPEC spokesman said. Rodriguez, who used to be Chavez's oil minister, left the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' Vienna headquarters Monday planning to return on Friday. He has decided to stay for another week, canceling an OPEC engagement next week, the Vienna based spokesman said. Chavez, back in power after a failed two day coup last week, may ask Rodriguez to take over Petroleos de Venezuela SA in a bid to lower tensions that led to a nationwide strike, Venezuelan newspaper El Universal said. Venezuela is the third largest producer among OPEC's eleven member countries. As Venezuela's oil minister, Rodriguez oversaw improvement in the country's compliance with OPEC production quotas. He was chosen for the group's top post in November 2000, ending an impasse among OPEC members including Saudi Arabia and Iran.