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Sun 17 Jan 2010 10:56 PM

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Oil price at $70 to $80pb 'reasonable' - Saudi deputy oilmin

Current prices encourage continued production while being adequate for buyers.

Oil price at $70 to $80pb 'reasonable' - Saudi deputy oilmin
REASONABLE PRICE: Saudi Arabias deputy oil minister said that the current price range is a reasonable price for oil. (Getty Images)

An oil price at between $70 to $80 a barrel is reasonable, Saudi Arabia's deputy oil minister reiterated on Sunday, adding that it was too early to predict the outcome of OPEC's next meeting in March.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman made the remarks to reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference in the Saudi capital.

He said: "(King Abdullah) has said in previous statements that $70 to $80 a barrel is a reasonable price for oil."

Prince Abdulaziz added: "Everyone is aware that the price agreed by both consumers and producers should be a price that encourages producers to continue production and expand capacity and this is also an adequate price for consumers."

The deputy minister, whose country is the world's top oil exporter, also said it was too early to call the outcome of March's meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

He said: "The next meeting is going to happen in more than two months and things change, circumstances change."

The group kept its oil output target unchanged at a Dec 22 meeting in Angola.

OPEC made no changes to policy in 2009 after making a record supply cut in 2008 as recession eroded demand and sent prices sliding.

Prince Abdulaziz said: "OPEC will not do anything that might have a negative impact on the global economy," adding he left any decisions to Saudi Arabia's oil minister, Ali al Naimi. (Reuters)

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