• Saudi oil minister pledges to satisfy market needs

    RIYADH: Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Tuesday that the oil-rich Gulf kingdom will work to satisfy global energy markets and to "moderate" prices.

    "We will provide the markets with what they need," Naimi told reporters on the sidelines of a ministerial meeting in Riyadh. "We will work to moderate prices."

    Addressing fellow ministers, Naimi warned that rising oil prices would affect economic growth across the globe, mainly in developing economies.

    "Oil prices rose in March to levels not seen since 2008, which may adversely affect the global economy, particularly the economies of developing nations and emerging countries, as well as negatively impact global oil demand," he said.

    He said in a speech that Gulf oil-producing nations have succeeded in their efforts to stabilise oil markets.

    "Our countries have exerted major efforts to restore global oil market stability, a feat that has actually been achieved. Stability has been restored and oil prices returned to levels which are suitable to both consuming and producing nations and to the global economy and its growth," he said.

    World oil prices are already facing pressure as the IMF cut its forecast for Chinese economic growth this year to 7.8 percent, while the World Bank said it expected the world's second-largest economy to grow at a slower than expected 7.7 percent.

    Both institutions have slashed their forecasts for global economic growth.

    Oil prices recovered in Asian trade on Tuesday over tensions between Syria and Turkey, but bad news on the regional and global economy fostered an atmosphere of caution.

    New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, was up 85 cents to $90.18 a barrel in afternoon trade, while Brent North Sea crude also for November advanced 73 cents to $112.55.

    In September, Naimi said the OPEC powerhouse was concerned about rising prices, pledging the kingdom's readiness to satisfy global demand.

    Saudi Arabia in March reportedly became the world's largest oil producer after increasing its production to 9.923 million barrels per day, topping Russia's output of 9.920 million bpd.

    Other reports said the Gulf heavyweight's production averaged 9.94 million bpd in the first half of 2012.

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