The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) began meeting in Vienna on Monday (15 September) with the task of drafting long-term price policy.
SV INTERIOR Oil Minister Sheikh Yamani of Saudi Arabia entering conference hall followed by other OPEC Ministers and officials
GV Delegates seated around conference tables
LV Mohammed Seddik Benyahia (Algerian Foreign Minister) addressing the meeting the French PAN Delegates listening
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Background: The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) began meeting in Vienna on Monday (15 September) with the task of drafting long-term price policy. The 13-nation group also will discuss increasing their aid to the developing world. Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, is under pressure to cut production of oil in his country. Saudi Arabia is the world's largest producer of oil and is selling it at 28-dollars a barrel, and is also under pressure to raise its prices.
SYNOPSIS: Sheikh Yamani said when he arrived that Saudi Arabia will not cut its oil output from the present nine-point-five million barrels a day until OPEC agrees on a long-term strategy to regulate prices. He said it was not a foregone conclusion that Saudi Arabia would raise the price of its oil as has been widely predicted.
Algeria's Foreign Minister, Mohamed Seddik-Benyahia spoke to the conference on the problems of the third world. He asked that members of OPEC give urgent attention to supplying financial aid to developing countries. Sheikh Yamani, however, would like the conference to draft an overall strategy for aid to the third world oil importers as well as good pricing relations with industrialised countries that depend on OPEC oil.
The conference is divided on how to draft the long-term strategy. The price of OPEC oil is at a standard rate of 32-dollars a barrel in all the member states, except Saudi Arabia. Some delegates listening to Mr Benyahia agree with his aid suggestions about the developing world. They believe if Saudi Arabia cut its oil production and increased the price of its crude they could introduce a new world order; an aim agreed upon in the 1975 conference.
Mr Benyahia told the conference the eyes of the world were focused on their talks. The delegates have many proposals to discuss, including how to help the poor. Of interest to the industrialised world is the prospect of a price rise for its much needed oil. The real decisions, however, will be made at OPEC's Baghdad summit in November.