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OPEC Technical Panel Ends Meeting

January 21, 1985

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ An OPEC committee that discussed means of dealing with price-cutting in the world oil market ended a two-day meeting today. An official said progress was satisfactory.

Officials declined to discuss details of the sessions, held in advance of a Jan. 28 conference by the 13 ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Geneva.

Fadel Al-Chalabi, OPEC deputy secretary general, said the talks were ″satisfactory.″ Other conference sources, speaking on condition they not be identified, said the negotiations were ″difficult but amicable.″

Among those attending the meeting were Saudi oil minister Ahmed Zaki Yamani and his Nigerian counterpart, Tam David-West. Qatar, Kuwait, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates also sent representatives.

The OPEC benchmark is $29 per barrel for Saudi Arabian crude. But the softness in the oil market has prompted North Sea oil producers, who are not OPEC members, to cut their prices.

Sheik Ali Khalifa Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s oil minister, has proposed that the Saudi benchmark price be scrapped in favor of a pricing system that is based on a ″basket″ - or the average prices - of various grades of OPEC crude oil.

David-West said the Kuwaiti proposal and others were discussed by the committee.

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