(TNS) Sigh of Relief: Saudi Arabian officials, besieged by international outrage over the murder of an anti-regime journalist, reassured nervous nations on Sunday that the kingdom had no intention of driving oil prices up past the $200-a-barrel mark amid fears of a 1973-style oil embargo.
“Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told Russia’s TASS news agency, in an attempt to reassure Russia and oil importers around the world that the kingdom’s threats to ‘weaponize’ oil by cutting production and sending oil prices to $200 a barrel were little more than empty rhetoric, published by a “rogue” op-ed writer one imagines,” Zero Hedge reported.
Al-Falih said the kingdom has “no intention” of setting off a replay of the 1973 oil embargo that staggered the U.S. economy and others around the world, sending oil prices four times higher and creating the first of many ‘oil shocks’ that marked much of the economic stagnation during the 1970s.
“There is no intention,” Khalid al-Falih told Russia’s TASS news agency when asked if there could be a repetition of the 1973-style oil embargo.
“This incident will pass. But Saudi Arabia is a very responsible country, for decades we used our oil policy as a responsible economic tool and isolated it from politics,” Falih added.
The energy minister is under instructions from the Saudi government to stabilize oil markets and “contribute to economic development,” which would no doubt falter if the kingdom drove global oil prices past $200 a barrel.
Falih could not offer any guarantee that prices would not rise to $100 a barrel, however, noting that Saudi oil production, at 11 million bpd, is already at max production. He also said that a new OPEC+ agreement had to be signed at a Dec. 7 meeting of the cartel.
“My role as the energy minister is to implement my government’s constructive and responsible role and stabilizing the world’s energy markets accordingly, contributing to global economic development,” he said.
As to prices, “I cannot give you a guarantee, because I cannot predict what will happen to other suppliers,” Falih added when asked if the world can avoid oil prices hitting $100 per barrel again.
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