Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Turki Al-Faisal discussed oil related issues in an interview yesterday with Bloomberg’s Michael McKee on “Marketline.”
With oil prices edging towards $70 a barrel, Prince Turki expressed concern about the damage to the world economy from such high oil prices. “We have always been worried about damage to the world economy from any high prices in oil,” he said. “We have worked assiduously over the years to try to maintain an acceptable pricing for that very important commodity that suits not only the producers, but also the consumers.”
Prince Turki said that the high oil prices are the result of a combination of factors, including high demand in China and India, a robust US economy that is consuming more oil, a shortage in refining capacity, instability in the region and surcharges put by insurance companies on oil shipments.
Prince Turki gave reassurances that there is enough production capacity to meet global demand.
Asked if Saudi Arabia was concerned about the Iranian nuclear crisis and its possible impact on oil prices, Prince Turki responded that the Kingdom has long called for a region free of all weapons of mass destruction – nuclear, chemical and biological.
In the event Iran withholds oil supplies from global markets, the ambassador replied, “We are producing at maximum capacity now. We have a program set in motion to increase our production from 10 million to nearly 12.5 million within four years, and hopefully, we can achieve that in the allotted time. But tomorrow we will definitely work with the world community to try to maintain stable prices for oil.”