OPEC freezes prices till end of the year

Oil ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to freeze oil prices until the end of the year, Venezuelan Oil Minister Humberto Calderon Berti told reporters. The minister also said Saudi Arabia, the biggest exporter, apparently would not raise its oil price from $32 to 34 a barrel. Other delegates to the OPEC conference here said earlier that the Saudis were ready to make a $2 increase.

A freeze until the end of the year would prolong an arrangement made in December which set a maximum price of $41 a barrel and allowed the Saudis to go up to the majority's $36 base price if they chose.

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