INTRODUCTION: Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, arrived in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday (22 February) for talks with United Arab Emirates (U.
INTRODUCTION: Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, arrived in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday (22 February) for talks with United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) President Sheikh Zaid Sultan al-Nahyan.
SYNOPSIS: Sheikh Yamani's visit is, of course, centred around oil prices.
He was met on his arrival by the U.A.E.'s Oil Minister foreign ministry officials. Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. account for about 33 percent of the world's oil production between them. They were the two members to oppose the decision by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to raise oil prices for 15 percent in two stages this year.
Arguing that the world economy could not stand a large oil price increase, the two producers opted instead for a five percent increase.
Sheikh Yamani also delivered a hand written message to U.A.E. President Sheikh Zaid Bin Sultan al-Nahyan from Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Fahd was believed to have expressed the hope that fellow OPEC oil ministers would alter their views on price rises.
An official communique issued after the meeting between President al-Nahyan and Sheikh Yamani said that U.A.E.-Saudi views were identical on all subjects discussed.
President al-Nahyan also praised existing economical and political ties between the two countries.
Both men also stressed that there would be no oil price war and that they hoped OPEC unity would be restored as soon as possible.
Sheikh Yamani told President al-Nahyan and Saudi Arabia would be going ahead with plans to increase oil previous 8.5 million barrels a day ceiling.
However, he said, this did not mean that the Saudis intended to flood the world market with cheap oil.
Informed observers, quoted by Reuters, say the Saudi production of oil will be increased by six percent to about 11.7 million barrels a day.
Since the split decision at their pre-Christmas conference in Qatar, OPEC states have been trying to find a way to solve differences.
Sheikh Yamani has said his country would not be opposed to the holding of a special OPEC conference to discuss the situation.