266. Paper Prepared by William B. Quandt of the National Security Council Staff1


For President

Possible Change in Saudi Oil Policy: According to the President of Aramco, Saudi Petroleum Minister Yamani has indicated a willingness to modify the oil embargo, even if Saudi Arabia has to act unilaterally without the support of other Arab oil producers. Yamani expressed his desire to find ways to help Belgium, hard hit by the embargo on the Netherlands, and to provide fuel for US military forces. Another high Saudi official has concurrently told Aramco of possible modifications in Saudi oil policy that would permit Arab oil to pass through Rotterdam to other European consumers and through Portland, Maine, for Canadian refineries. If these arrangements are in fact made, Aramco would be allowed to increase production to cover these shipments.

Source: Critchfield memorandum, December 14, 19732

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1279, Saunders Files, UAR, 12/1–12/15/73. Secret; Sensitive. In a covering memorandum, Quandt asked Scowcroft if the information should be passed on to Simon. Scowcroft initialed the “no” line. The information was not included in the Presidential briefing material for Saturday, Decmeber 15.
  2. Not found.