The failure of the 13 OPEC oil minsters to agree on a price rise for 1978 will have the effect of freezing prices for at least six months.
CU Secretary General Ali M. Jaidah listening to question and answering in English.
CU OPEC Chairman Qatar Oil Minister Abdul Aziz bin Khalifa Al-Thani speaking in English.
AL-THANI: "The correct answer to this question is that in OPEC we have resorted, despite if there are any differences of view, to taking a unanimous decision. Of course, from the market point of view, those who if there are two tier price systems by all means those who are selling expensively they will find it more difficult to sell. I mean from the economical analysis you may be right but the basic criteria which we adopted here in OPEC is whatever decision we have to take a unanimous decision."
QUESTION: "So you don't think there will be a price freeze through all of 1978, maybe just for six months?"
AL-THANI: "Well I would say so the freeze it will be for six months, and we are going to meet again in June to discuss the price issue."
REPORTER: "Your Excellency, Ray Dafter, Financial Times. Hasn't Saudi Arabia and Iran intimated that they want a freeze for the whole year."
AL-THANI: "Well, as far as I know we are going to meet again in June, 15th of June, and we'll discuss the price issue. What the results going to be, the 15th of June really I'm not in a position to precise exactly."
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Background: The failure of the 13 OPEC oil minsters to agree on a price rise for 1978 will have the effect of freezing prices for at least six months. The oil ministers agreed to postpone further discussion of their joint policy until they meet again in June. Until then the price of oil will remain at its present level of 12.70 US dollars for a barrel of standard Middle East crude. It was Saudi Arabia and Iran, the world's largest producers, backed by the United Arab emirates, Kuwait and Qatar who blocked the move for the higher prices.
SYNOPSIS: The discussions had been long and bitter. At the press conference afterwards OPEC Secretary General Ali M. Jaidah and OPEC Chairman Qatar Oil Minister Abdul Aziz bin Khalifa Al-Thani answered newsmen's questions.