OIL: OPEC Meets the Customers

In Paris last week, for the first time since the Arab oil embargo, representatives of the countries that have quintupled petroleum prices faced delegates of the consuming nations that are paying those prices. Across the conference table it became immediately apparent that the oil producers have the upper hand diplomatically. The 18-nation meeting, called at the invitation of French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, showed the depths of the differences rather than any path to resolving them. At week's end delegates could not even agree on an agenda for a larger conference this...

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