In Saudi Arabia, sources close to a meeting of the 13 O.PE.C. oil ministers report?
In Saudi Arabia, sources close to a meeting of the 13 O.PE.C. oil ministers report that oil prices are likely to remain frozen until the end of this year. OPEC, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, does not hold its annual price-fixing session until June, but conference sources say a price-rise isn't favoured this year.
SYNOPSIS: Security was tight for the two-day OPEC meeting which started on Friday (5 May). Soldiers patrolled outside the International Hotel in Taif and cars passing through the area were also checked over.
One of the first to arrive was the Organisation's Secretary-General Ali Jetdah. New oil prices were not on the agenda for this meeting, but the subject arose informally. Iran's delegate, Mohammed Yeganih, seen here arriving, was reported to be partly responsible for the block on further price increases this year. He said OPEC should give the United States another chance to reverse the fall in the value of the Dollar, which has eroded oil revenues.
Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, Saudi Arabia's oil minister, agreed with continuing the present oil price-freeze. Saudi Arabia and Iran are the two biggest oil exporters, accounting for almost half the OPEC output. This gives them weight in OPEC Councils, and if they insist on a continued freeze, they should get it.
Sheikh Yamani here greeting Nigeria's Commissioner of Oil, Muhammadu Buhari, favours the current price of 12.70 dollars for a barrel of light Saudi crude.
Reuters reported that OPEC states, including Iraq, the Libyan Jamahiriyah, and Kuwait, argued the merits of a price rise. As the ministers went into a final session of the conference, they remained far apart on their attitudes to the Dollar, and the oil price.