LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, wants a steady oil price of around $100 a barrel, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said, an upward shift from a previous range of $70 to $80 a barrel.
“Our wish and hope is we can stabilise this oil price and keep it at a level around $100,” Dow Jones Newswires quoted Naimi as telling CNN in an interview.
The Saudi oil chief said Riyadh could increase production by about 2 million barrels per day “almost immediately”.
“We can easily get up to 11.4, 11.8 (million barrels a day) almost immediately, in a few days,” Naimi told the news channel — up from just under 10 million bpd now.
But “to get to the next (700,000 barrels a day) or so, we probably need about 90 days”, he said.
Riyadh has not specified a preferred price range since it said it favoured $75 per barrel in November 2008. Recently, however, Naimi has said that price level was out of date. (Reporting by Christopher Johnson)