Members of the II-nation Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) conferred yesterday (22 September) at the Phoenicia Hotel, Beirut.
Members of the II-nation Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) conferred yesterday (22 September) at the Phoenicia Hotel, Beirut. Only a brief press statement was released at the end of the meeting, but it indicated that a decision has been taken which could lead to tougher negotiations with the oil companies than those which followed OPEC's demand for higher oil prices earlier this year.
The OPEC members decided to try to get the oil companies to agree to government participation in existing oil concessions. The statement did not indicate the level of participation the OPEC countries would demand, but it could range from 20 per cent to the 51 per cent which Algeria already claims under unilateral legislation.
There was no indication when the negotiations would begin, but after the two-hour extraordinary meeting, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, said they would take place "very soon".
SYNOPSIS: In Beirut, a special meeting on Wednesday of the eleven-member Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC. The two-hour meeting foreshadows a big new confrontation between the major oil companies and the OPEC countries which produce 90 per cent of the world's oil exports. Deadlock between them could lead to an oil crisis.
At the two-hour meeting, which was held in secret, the members decided to try to get the oil companies to agree to OPEC governments participating in existing concessions. The OPEC members decided in July to take steps towards participation, and a five-nation ministerial committee met earlier this week to work out how the scheme should be implemented.
Only a brief statement was issued at the end of the meeting, and it did not indicate whether the members had agreed on the level of participation. Observers said it could be set anywhere between 20 per cent and the 51 cent which Algeria already claims under its own legislation.
The statement also did not indicate when negotiations with the oil companies might begin, but the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Minerals said after the meeting that negotiations would be very soon, although no date had been fixed. Eight of the eleven member-states are to seek participation agreements, and the negotiations with the oil companies are expected to the tough and prolonged.