Saudi Arabia is "not disturbed" by the drop in the value of the dollar and remains satisfied with oil in the $70 to $80 range, Saudi prince Turki al-Faisal said on Thursday.
"They're not disturbed by the fall, if you will, in the value of the dollar," Turki, former Saudi intelligence chief and former ambassador to the United States, said in response to questions after a speech on energy security at Rice University.
He based his comment on statements by Saudi officials in recent days as "official policy," Turki said.
Turki declined to predict the direction of oil prices and deflected a question from Reuters whether Saudi Arabia would increase production if oil prices passed $90 a barrel. Light sweet crude in New York settled at $87.81 Thursday.
"The market seems to be working quite well. We've reached an equitable base pricing for everybody, let it go along at that," Turki said, repeating previous Saudi comments that $70 to $80 a barrel is a satisfactory price range.
"If it goes up, we will work together to bring it down. If it goes down, hopefully we will work together to bring it up to meet the satisfaction of producers and consumers," Turki said.
The prince focused his prepared remarks on the U.S. push for energy independence, arguing that the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico shows the risks of looking for oil in extreme environments.
"While independence may be the idea that pushes us to new horizons, in order to arrive at those horizons and take the greatest advantage of what we find there, it is interdependence that matters most," Turki said.
"Saudi Arabia remains, without question, one of the safest sources," he said.
Turki called for greater transparency and more reliable data on all nations’ energy production and consumption, and he expressed support for regulation to allow markets to work without too much volatility.
A less adversarial relationship between oil producers and consumers will facilitate a transition to more varied sources of energy that all nations, including Saudi Arabia, will need in the future, Turki said.
"We are all in this together. The discussion should be how we can all get through it together," Turki said.
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