OPEC oil exporters, meeting in Switzerland on Tuesday (26 June), deferred their discussions on the likely price of oil for a further day.
OPEC oil exporters, meeting in Switzerland on Tuesday (26 June), deferred their discussions on the likely price of oil for a further day. After two sessions, delegates did appear to be committed to return to a unified pricing system. At present only Saudi Arabia is selling oil at the official OPEC price of fourteen-and-a-half dollars a barrel. Most other countries sell their oil on the free market at around twenty dollars a barrel.
SYNOPSIS: The Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva -- scene of the hard bargaining amongst the world's leading oil producers. Outside all was calm, with police security guards very much in evidence. Inside the conference room it was a different story.
Iran is one of the hard line producers.
On the moderate side is Sheikh Zaki Yamani, head of the Saudi Arabian delegation. The other OPEC members are divided on the level to which the price of crude oil should rise. Most are seeking an official price of twenty dollars a barrel, in return ending the system of surcharges and other anomalies which at present, make the world's oil dealings so chaotic. Late on Tuesday night (26 June), a senior Iranian oil official, Cyrus Ebrahimzadeh, said a two-tier pricing system could possibly arise form the Geneva meeting.
But he added that, should complete agreement be reached among OPEC members, the new market price for oil would be between twenty and twenty-five dollars a barrel. More moderate OPEC officials say the lower figure is the more likely.