Oil prices even scare Saudi Arabia

April 26, 2011 at 10:26 AM
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SEOUL, April 26 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia is concerned that the high price of oil could curtail global economic growth, the head of the country's oil company said.

The conflict in Libya, rising demand ahead of the U.S. summer driving season and a modest economic recovery are driving oil prices to post-recession records. Major oil producers responded to the Libyan crisis by putting more crude on the market, though prices continue to soar.

Khalid al-Falih, director of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., said at an energy conference in Seoul that energy prices were becoming a point of concern.

"We are not comfortable with oil prices where they are today," he was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying. "We're concerned about the impact it could have on the global economic growth."

Saudi Arabia, he said, is keen to see a stable energy market. The kingdom in March pumped about 9 billion barrels of oil, the most since October 2008, Bloomberg adds. The news agency notes that oil prices are up 32 percent to about $112 a barrel since the uprising in Libya began in February.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has signaled it doesn't see a need to hold an extraordinary meeting to tackle current market conditions, however.

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