Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal said Sunday that he wants oil prices to drop so that the United States and Europe don’t accelerate efforts to wean themselves off his country’s supply.
Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal says regional instability accounts for the high price of oil today.
In an interview broadcast Sunday on “CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS,” the grandson of the founding king of modern Saudi Arabia said the oil price should be somewhere between $70 and $80 a barrel, rather than the current level of over $100 a barrel.
“We don’t want the West to go and find alternatives, because, clearly, the higher the price of oil goes, the more they have incentives to go and find alternatives,” said Talal, who is listed by Forbes as the 26th richest man in the world.
He blamed continuing uncertainty over political stability in the region as well as disruptions in supply tied to unrest in Libya and Bahrain for the current high oil price.
“You’re not 100% sure what is going to happen, because you hear once in a while Iran coming and jumping and antagonizing and intimidating the Gulf region,” the prince said. “So, there’s a worry.”
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A major investor in the United States, the prince said the country remains a desired investment target because of its stability.
“At the end of the day, the United States is down, for sure, but it is not out,” Talal said.
Asked about the so-called Arab Spring protests reshaping the political landscape in the Middle East and North Africa, he said the level of unrest in his native country is far below that of other countries because of economic stability and the love of the Saudi people for the monarchy.
Still, the prince said, Saudi Arabia needs to “enact some new laws whereby the participation of the people has to be done, one way or another.”