At a press conference today, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi commented that the participants of the Seventh International Energy Forum in Riyadh had reviewed issues pertaining to energy development and technology, adding that dialogue has become an essential matter in this field. Transparency in the oil market, he said, will lessen fluctuation of prices and serve the interests of both producers and consumers.
Participants in the forum, he said, had welcomed the proposal of Crown Prince Abdullah for the establishment of a secretariat for energy working for development of dialogue between consumers and producers, and this proposal will be considered by the concerned authorities. He announced that Japan will host the Eighth Energy Forum in 2002, with the United Arab Emirates and Italy as co-organizers.
Commenting on current oil prices, Minister Al-Naimi reiterated that the member states of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) believe the optimum price to be between U.S. $22 and $28 a barrel. He denied that pressure had been put on Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing countries to increase production, but said they themselves had the desire to do so in order to meet demand.