After rebuffing Bush twice, the Saudis are mulling over putting some slack on the leash again.
No serious moves to free us from this dependence seem to be on the horizon.
“Saudi Arabia seeks oil price curb,” from AP, June 9:
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia will call for a summit between oil producing countries and consumer states to discuss soaring energy prices, Information and Culture Minister Iyad Madani said Monday.
The kingdom will also work with OPEC to “guarantee the availability of oil supplies now and in the future,” the minister said following the weekly Cabinet meeting, held in the seaport city of Jiddah.
The Saudi announcement comes just three days after the biggest single-day price leap ever, when oil surged more than $11 to surpass $139 per barrel.
Retail gas prices rose further above $4 Monday in the United States, the world’s largest oil consumer, following the unprecedented price rally.
The kingdom will work to ensure there will be no “unwarranted and unnatural oil price hikes that could affect international economies, especially those of developing countries,” said Madani.
“There is no justification for the current rise in prices,” he said.
Thomas Petrie, a vice chairman at Merrill Lynch and an energy markets expert, said he expects oil to be in a range of $120 to $150 a barrel between now and the fall, though he acknowledged trying to pigeonhole a price point is “a bit of a pointless exercise.”
“I’d be surprised if we don’t end the year having reached a point where we begin to see demand patterns changing, and we start to see prices come in some from that range, but not a lot.”
Demand patterns need to change indeed.