Saudi Arabia’s oil chief on Sunday dismissed allegations that his kingdom conspired to bring down oil prices in order to harm other countries and told a summit of Arab energy leaders that he was confident the market would stabilize.
The kingdom, which is dependent on oil revenues, is able to weather lower oil prices due to large reserves built up over the years. Non-OPEC member Russia and other nations like Iraq, Iran and Venezuela need prices substantially above present levels to meet budget goals and want to drive prices up.
Saudi Arabia maintains it is opposed to cutting production because of fears its market share could erode.
“The best thing for everybody is to let the most efficient produce,” Saudi Petroleum Minister Ali Naimi said in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi. He was addressing the Arab Energy Conference, a gathering held every four years.
The price of U.S. oil has dipped below $60 a barrel, its lowest in five years. Naimi said he was certain that the oil market would recover with the improvement of the global economy.