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QUITO, March 17 (Reuters) - Ecuador expects oil prices to climb to $60 per barrel in 2009, but believes the normal price for world crude should be $80, Oil Minister Derlis Palacios said in a ministry release on Tuesday.
“We think $80 per barrel is a normal price,” Palacios was quoted as saying in the statement.
The ministry added that Palacios saw oil prices continuing to climb and that they would move beyond $60 in 2010.
Palacios, a civil engineer with little oil experience, was officially named the alternate president of OPEC and will assume the full presidency next year, according to the statement.
World oil prices rose more than a $1 to above $48 per barrel on Tuesday due to firmer global stock markets and a rally on Wall Street.
At its most recent meeting over the weekend, OPEC decided to keep production levels unchanged while it enforces previous output cuts. (Reporting by Alonso Soto; Editing by Christian Wiessner)