The world should "forget about cheap oil" and get used to the current high prices, the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has said.
Speaking during a visit to India at the weekend, Mr Chavez said the new price range for oil would remain between $40 and $50 a barrel.
"The world should forget about cheap oil, it won't happen.That is the new band for oil," said Mr Chavez, whose country is the only South American member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).
His comments were in contrast to those by Opec president Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah who said producers were concerned by the recent rise in oil prices but believe the market is well supplied.
Opec will meet in the Iranian city of Isfahan on March 16, with most members saying world prices were now too high to slice back output.