Oil prices between $70 and $80 a barrel are “almost perfect” and may promote investment to increase energy supplies to meet global demand, Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said.
“The producer is looking at this price, the consumer is looking at this price, the investor is looking at this price, and everybody is saying, this is great,” al-Naimi said in a video interview posted on the Web site of the International Energy Forum. “More importantly, economic growth is not hampered. That is why I said it is almost a perfect price.”
The 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, with Saudi Arabia as its largest member, kept production quotas unchanged in four meetings last year as crude recovered from a low near $30 in 2008. OPEC cut production that year to prop up prices as the recession cut demand.
“The biggest challenge for everybody is to watch for investments in our business,” Naimi said in the interview. “This kind of a price will help the decision to invest and keep the world supplied with the energy they need for their growth.”
OPEC may not increase production again this year because the market is sufficiently supplied, Qatar’s Energy Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said last week.
Naimi said there is no talk of setting a price band for crude or fixing the price in that range. Fuel demand has seen a “significant pick up” in Asia, while oil use in some of the world’s largest industrialized economies has declined, he said.