267. Circular Information Airgram From the Department of State to Certain Posts1



  • Free World Petroleum and Transport Adequate for Near-Term Needs

1. The Emergency Petroleum Supply Committee (EPSC) reported to Assistant Secretary of the Interior J. Cordell Moore on October 10 that it did not foresee Free World petroleum supply difficulties or a tanker shortage through March 1968 that would require emergency action. The principal conclusions of the Committee’s report are:

  • —There will be no Free World shortage of crude oil or refining capacity in the fourth quarter of 1967 and the first quarter of 1968.
  • —Tanker tonnage during this period will be tight but adequate to meet requirements.
  • —The opening of Tapline, a pipeline that originates in Saudi Arabia and terminates in Lebanon, as well as the easing of destination restrictions by Arab nations, will continue to provide additional petroleum supply flexibility.
  • —There is no need for emergency Federal action to meet Free World requirements at the present time.
  • —No further analysis of the first quarter of 1968 is required unless there is some significant change in the present situation.

The committee estimated that Free World petroleum demand in the fourth quarter of 1967, excluding the United States and Canada, will be 19,150,000 barrels per day while crude oil production is estimated at 20,230,000 barrels per day—an increase of 9.7 per cent over the third quarter. The committee estimated first quarter 1968 Free World petroleum demand at 19,500,000 barrels daily, an increase of 1.8 per cent over the fourth quarter, and crude production at levels fully adequate to meet demand.

2. The conclusions of the EPSC report are consistent with those submitted to the OECD Oil Committee by its International Industry Advisory Body on September 13, 1967.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1967–69, PET 3 OECD. Unclassified. Drafted by J. Stromayer (EUR/RPE) and approved by J. Oliver (E/FSE). Sent to all OECD capitals, Beirut, Tehran, and Dhahran.