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Saudi Foreign Min Rejects Notion May Use Oil To Pressure Iran

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 1/17/2007, Location: Middle East

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal rejected the notion that Saudi Arabia might increase its oil output to lower prices and pressure Iran. "Saudi Arabia's policy is very clear in this," he said. "That it takes its responsibility with great seriousness in maintaining a healthy market both for the consumers and the producers and that any crises that happen in the past, Saudi Arabia has carried its responsibility in this regard and I'm sure it will do so in the future."

Oil futures prices tumbled as much as 4% intraday on the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday, to a low of $50.53 before settling at $1.78 lower at $51.21 a barrel, the lowest level since May 26, 2005. The average price so far in 2007, at $54.67, is 11.9% below the December average.

The slide was attributed in part to comments by Saudi oil minister Ali Naimi downplaying the prospects of an emergency OPEC meeting to discuss the slide in prices.

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