Last updated: 11 September, 2014

Saudi oil minister plays down drop in oil price

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi Thursday played down the drop in oil prices saying this is not the first time crude prices slumped.

“Prices of oil always go up and down so I really don’t know why the big fuss about it this time,” Nuaimi told reporters ahead of a regular meeting for oil ministers of the energy-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in Kuwait City.

The Saudi minister, whose country pumps over 9.5 million barrels per day, said any measures the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries needs to take regarding the price slump “should be discussed when OPEC meets” in November.

Oil prices rose in Asia Thursday a day after hitting a 17-month law after US President Barack Obama vowed to destroy jihadist militants in crude producers Syria and Iraq, but analysts said weak global demand and a supply glut capped gains.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October delivery rose 16 cents to $91.83 while Brent crude for October gained 14 cents to $98.18 in mid-morning trade.

The drop in Brent crude price below $99 a barrel came amid fears of increased production and lower-than-expected demand.

OPEC on Wednesday said in a report that demand would grow by 1.05 million barrels per day in 2014 to 91.2 million barrels, trimming 50,000 from the previous outlook.

Demand in 2015 is expected to grow 1.19 million barrels per day, 20,000 barrels a day fewer than before, the cartel said.