Soviets Said to Raise Oil Prices

From Times Wire Services

The Soviet Union, the world's largest oil producer, has notified European customers that it is raising the price of its main export crude oil by 25 cents a barrel to $26.25, effective Sept. 1, industry sources said today.

The move by the Soviets, who keep prices closely in line with market conditions, followed an increase of 50 cents a barrel for Urals crude in mid-August.

The sources, who spoke only on condition they not be identified because of the sensitive nature of international oil trade, said their companies had been informed of the latest price change by telex messages.

The Soviet Union does not publicly announce its pricing decisions for oil, one of its main sources of hard currency.

John Lichtblau, executive director of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation in New York, said the Soviets' move "shows the market is quite strong at the moment."

Oil prices on world markets have been creeping higher in the past month.

Urals oil for August delivery was quoted today in the spot or non-contract market at $26.45 a barrel, according to Telerate Energy Service.

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