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    Oil Ministers, including Mr.

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    BBC: MARCH 3 (UK)
    1. GVs Venezuelan Oil Minister Humberto Calderon Berti arriving for talks in London. (3 SHOTS) 0.16
    2. SVs/GVs Saudi Arabia's Sheikh Yamani arriving. 0.24
    3. GV EXT Building where meeting is being held. (2 SHOTS) 0.33
    4. GV Venezuelan Oil Minister Calderon Berti making statement to reporter and walking with Iranian oil minister. (SOT) (2 SHOTS) 0.40
    BAHRAIN, JANUARY 15, 1983 (FILE)
    5. GV Gulf state oil ministers arriving, and being greeted by Co-operation Council official. 1.17
    6. GVs Oil drums stacked in field and waste material burning. (5 SHOTS) 1.36
    BENIN: JANUARY 26, 1983 (FILE)
    7. GV Ghanaians on road to port in Cotonou. (2 SHOTS) 1.48
    8. AERIAL VIEW Oil refinery. 1.59
    9. GVs Damaged ships in dock. (3 SHOTS) 2.06
    10. GVs Oil rig burning off oil, and workers on off-shore rig. (3 SHOTS) 2.15
    11. AERIAL VIEW Off-shore oil-rig. 2.17
    TRANSCRIPT: CALDERON BERTI: (SEQ 4) "We have made a lot of progress over the last week. We have had several meetings in Europe and in the Middle East, and I think we are clearer now, more than last week."
    REPORTER: "How close? What are we talking about in terms of price?"
    CALDERON BERTI: "We are almost reaching an agreement on prices and we have to work a little more tomorrow."

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: UK/FRANCE/& VARIOUS

    Oil Ministers, including Mr. Humberto Calderon Berti from Venezuela, arrived in London on March 3 for talks aimed at preventing a world oil price crash. Saudi Arabia's minister, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, was among those attending the informal meeting at the home of Mana Said Al-Oteiba, the United Arab Emirates oil minister, together with ministers from Nigeria, Algeria, Indonesia and Kuwait. The meeting followed recent price cuts by Britain to 30 U.S. dollars a barrel, and by Nigeria to 29.5 U.S. dollars, and ministers were discussing how to stabilise prices if they cut the bench price of 34 U.S. dollars. After discussing the cost of oil with members of the French government in Paris on March 2, Mr. Calderon Berti said progress was being made and that an agreement was near on a new oil price. Several meetings of members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have been held in recent weeks to discuss oil prices, and the Lebanon talks were to determine whether or not a full emergency session of OPEC would be called soon. The members of OPEC were producing about 14 million barrels of oil a day, compared to a peak of over 30 million in 1979. But the worldwide recession has also affected the oil producing countries, leading to unsold supplies being stored in talks around the world, as seen here in Visnews Library tape from Saudi Arabia. Nigeria had been hit very hard by the slump in global oil demand and recently slashed its prices, without agreement from OPEC. The drop in demand stunted Nigeria's economy, Lagos as a result expelled over two million illegal immigrants at the end of January, who had found jobs there as the country expanded during the 1970s. Libya was another problem facing OPEC, and the government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi persistently maintained that Saudi Arabia should cut its production to maintain the market price. The country's oil minister, Kamel Hassan Al-Maqhour was a late arrival at the discussions in London. Further pressure on OPEC to cut oil prices came from the I
    ran-Iraq war. In an attempt to pay for the fighting, Iran had sold oil at discount prices. Mexico is now one of the largest non-OPEC oil producers, and it sent an observer to the mini-conference, who said that Mexico would adopt whatever new price was decided. Another factor which contributed to the pressure on the OPEC countries, was Britain's supply of oil from the North Sea and its unilateral price cut.


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