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Oil Minister Urges Slow Price Climb


Gradual increases in the price of oil are the best way to avoid a major worldwide energy crisis in the 1980's, a Saudi Arabian oil minister said yesterday.

Hadi Abdul Taher, Saudi Arabian Minister of State and governor of the Petroleum and Minerals Agency (PETROMIN), told an audience of about 75 in Science Center C that unless both oil producers and consumers take a "moderate approach to the price question," the result may be "really important imbalances...interruptions of continuity of supply on a high level" sometime in the next 10 to 15 years.

Although the international political situation precludes an immediate raise in oil prices, eventual increases will be necessary in order to balance supply and demand, Taher said. He added these increases might follow inflation in oil-consuming nations.

Citing a joint U.S.-Saudi solar energy project now underway, Taher also emphasized the need for industrialized nations to develop alternative energy technologies that would allow for the conservation of hydrocarbons "for a very valuable few years longer."

The Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Sutdies sponsored Taher's lecture, called "World Oil Prices: A Saudi Arabian View."

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