Saudis will fight to keep $34 price, oil official says

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ahmad Zaki Yamani was quoted Tuesday as saying the kingdom will defend OPEC's oil reference price of $34 a barrel as a nonnegotiable issue at this month's OPEC meeting.

The Saudi Gazette quoted Sheikh Yamani as saying, ''This is our position. We want to defend the $34 benchmark.'' The paper said the official told it he had been misquoted in a recent Kuwaiti newspaper article that suggested Saudi Arabia was willing to discuss lowering the $34 benchmark.

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