Saudi Arabia said on Monday it wanted to keep crude oil prices at around $100 (U.S.) a barrel, the first time the kingdom has targeted a “triple-digit” price and a quarter above the previous ambition of $75 suggested by King Abdullah in November 2008.
Ali Naimi, the powerful Saudi oil minister, said the world’s largest oil producer aimed to “stabilize” oil prices slightly below the current level of $111 a barrel.
“Our wish and hope is we can stabilise this oil price and keep it at a level around $100”, Mr Naimi told CNN television. “If we were able as producers and consumers to average $100 I think the world economy would be in better shape.”
Brent rose 92 cents higher at $111.36 a barrel in afternoon trading in London on Monday.
Saudi Arabia is traditionally seen as a moderate country within the Opec oil cartel. But Mr Naimi’s comments put the kingdom in line with hawks such as Algeria and Venezuela, which in the past have said they want to keep prices above $100.