OPEC ministers (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) meet in Bali on Monday (15 December) to review the price and supply of oil, despite the fact that two of the member countries are at war.
June 1980, Algiers. Flags of the OPEC member countries outside meeting place.
SV Algerian President Chadli Benjedid takes seat at head table.
CU ZOOM OUT Iranian delegates seated at conference.
SV United Arab Emirate delegate seated.
CU ZOOM OUT Iraqi delegate seated.
SV Libyan Jamahiriyah delegate seated.
GVs Damaged ships in Khorramshahr with smoke from burning oil refinery billowing behind and Iraqi troops in tanks on quayside (2 SHOTS)
GV Other damaged ships at quayside
GV Stationary tugs with tankers in background and billowing smoke
GVs AND CU Ship with mortar damage (3 SHOTS)
LV Idle ships in Shatt-al-Arab waterway (2 SHOTS)
SV Exxon and Mobil sign (2 SHOTS)
AERIAL VIEW Oil refinery installation in the United States
GV PAN Oil storage tanks
LV Oil tankers at sea
September, 1980, Vienna. SV INTERIOR Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Sheikh Yamani enters conference hall followed by other OPEC minister and delegates seated around table.
Banias, Syria. GV AND LV Oil refinery and storage tanks for Iraqi Kirkuk oil fields (5 SHOTS)
SV Technician checking valves and pipes
GV Port of Banias with oil installations in background
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Background: OPEC ministers (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) meet in Bali on Monday (15 December) to review the price and supply of oil, despite the fact that two of the member countries are at war. Mr. Belkacem Nabi, the current President of the organisation has stressed that a strong, unified OPEC is vital to the world. Nevertheless, the conference will be overshadowed by the continuing Iran-Iraq war, and the pressures on other countries to make up the shortfall, caused by the inactivity of the warring countries' major installations.
SYNOPSIS: June's OPEC meeting in Algiers highlighted divisions within the alliance mostly based on the problem of setting new prices for oil. The Iranians took a hardline in favour of major increases, but were opposed by more moderate members. However, this month's meeting is overshadowed by the Gulf war and the need to reunify the alliance. The Iraqi's are holding the Iranian Oil minister prisoner--a subject bound to raise tempers at the Bali meeting.
The war between Iran and Iraq, two of the founding members of OPEC, is dragging on into the fourth month, with little sign of a solution. The fighting has resulted in the loss of substantial Iraqi and Iranian oil exports.
Both sides chose oil installations, refineries and export facilities as major targets for their bombing raids. The damage has been so extensive that it may take years to restore the industry to its pre-war, and in the case of Iran, pre-revolution capacity. Nevertheless there are reports that both Iran and Iraq have resumed limited exports.
OPEC urged the international oil companies to use their build-up of large stocks to replace the shortfall caused by the Gulf war. But there are fears that companies may be reluctant to continue drawing on their stocks if there is not a full resumption of Iraqi and Iranian supplies soon.
The Saudis now account for nearly 45 percent of the total OPEC output. Before the Gulf War, Saudi Arabia's Sheikh Yamani was apparently seeking to reassert a a moderation role in oil pricing. and the Saudi's had hoped that this week's Bali meeting would return OPEC to a unified tariff system similar to the one abandoned during the 1979 oil shortage.
Iraq depends on good relations with Syria to keep oil moving out of the northern Kirkuk oil fields to the port of Banias. Supplies were interrupted in 1976 because of a political dispute between the two countries, but the pipelines were reopened almost two years ago (February 1979) after a mutual defence agreement.
The war meant the disruption of the Banias facility, but, oil in currently being pumped from Iraq to the port for export, once again.
Sheikh Yamani has predicted that when the war ends both Iran and Iraq will want to step up exports in order to rebuild their economies. Other OPEC countries will therefore have to reduce their production. And the Bali meeting will be trying to set the scene for future cooperation in both production and pricing.