CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he's pleased that OPEC policies have helped stabilize world crude prices.
Chavez, whose country is a major crude exporter and OPEC member, said in televised remarks that "we managed to leave behind the catastrophic scenario, thanks to OPEC and the allies of OPEC."
Oil prices on Tuesday dropped $1.76 to settle at $82.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countires has left its members' production quotas unchanged since December 2008, when it announced the last of a series of cuts aimed at bringing their output down by 4.2 million barrels per day. The cuts helped engineer a rebound in crude prices, which had collapsed to the low $30s from a mid-2008 high of almost $150 per barrel.