Saudi Arabia works to settle oil markets

March 20, 2012 at 7:38 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 20 (UPI) -- The Saudi government announced it would work with its Arab and other partners to ensure stability in the global oil market.

The Saudi Council of Ministers declared it would work unilaterally in and coordination with members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the Gulf Cooperation Council and other parties to clam oil markets.

"The kingdom will work individually and in cooperation and coordination with GCC and other producers inside and outside OPEC … to ensure adequate oil supply, stabilize oil market and bring down oil prices to reasonable levels acceptable to both producers, consumers and the petroleum industry," the government was quoted by Arab News as saying.

Crude oil prices are near 9-month highs in part because of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali al-Naimi, during talks last week in Kuwait, blamed "sensationalist reporting" for at least some of the turmoil in world energy markets.

Most oil ministers gathered for the International Energy Forum last week in Kuwait said oil prices were too high.

Naimi said Riyadh could handle any disruptions in the oil market but noted market volatility was "bad for the sort of long-term planning required in the energy business."

Saudi Arabia is the largest oil exporter among OPEC members.

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