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Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal  (Source: Forbes)
Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal wants oil prices in the $70 to $80/barrel range

Gas prices in the United States have been taking a decidedly downward turn in the past month (down 20 cents in three weeks from a national average of $3.97 per gallon to the current $3.78 per gallon). However, gas prices are still much higher than a year ago when the national average was $2.74 per gallon according to GasBuddy.

There are some that are calling for lower oil prices to help ease prices for consumers, and those calls are coming from an unlikely source. Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, whose country is one of the founding members of OPEC, wants to see oil prices drop dramatically. In fact, Talal wants to see prices fall down to roughly $70 to $80 per barrel (current prices are hovering around $100 per barrel).

Talal's reasoning for wanting lower prices comes from an increasing interest from countries like the United States and global auto manufacturers to develop vehicles that don't require gasoline or diesel fuel to operate. 

"We don't want the West to go and find alternatives," said Talal in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. "Because, clearly, the higher the price of oil goes, the more they have incentives to go and find alternatives."

President Obama is pushing for federal agencies to ditch large, fuel hungry vehicles like Suburbans and Tahoes for more fuel-efficient compact and subcompact cars wherever possible. The U.S. government fleet is also taking baby steps with purchases of the all-electric Nissan Leaf and the partial electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt.

And for the full-size SUVs that are still needed in the government fleet, the Obama Administration wants increased use of E85 fuel that would further lessen our dependence on foreign oil sources to sustain our transportation needs. 

The overarching goal, however, is for automakers to develop vehicles that can travel much further on a gallon of gasoline, boosting CAFE averages to 35.5 mpg by 2016. This move will come by manufacturers producing more vehicles that achieve 40 mpg or higher, and by stepping up the efforts with electric vehicles like the Ford Focus Electric and the Tesla Model S

So it should come as no surprise that Talal doesn't want to see the U.S. gravy train come to an end.  If everyone is driving around in 50-mpg vehicles, there will be less of a need for foreign oil. If everyone is driving around in electric vehicles, well OPEC is in serious trouble. 



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Oil prices
By Gungel on 5/30/2011 9:11:36 AM , Rating: -1
The Saudis biggest problem is not the oil price its that they are running out of the black stuff soon. Saudi reserves have been overstated by nearly 40%. Maybe another 25-30 good years left instead of the claimed 40-50 years. So he should really thank the U.S. to lower its oil consumption. It might lengthen the income of oil by a few years if less is consumed.




RE: Oil prices
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 5/30/2011 9:17:48 AM , Rating: 2
And how do we know that there are 20, 30, or even 50 year of oil left? Does the earth have an "oil tank" gauge that I've just overlooked ;)


RE: Oil prices
By Jeffk464 on 5/30/2011 9:55:15 AM , Rating: 4
Yes, they are called Geologists. The nice thing about Saudi oil is that it was easy to find and get to. The tougher finds are deep ocean and under the polar ice cap.


RE: Oil prices
By omnicronx on 5/30/2011 12:28:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The nice thing about Saudi oil is that it was easy to find and get to.
Because I'm sure its all cataloged and available for all to see.

Guestimations have been made, but only the Saudi's really know what their actual reserves truly are.

Furthermore the OP is not really making any sense. If you are worried about how much supply you have remaining, why would you sell it for a lower price? One would think you would do the exact opposite, lower your output resulting in raised prices and make as much money as you can for as long as possible with a limited supply.


RE: Oil prices
By Jeffk464 on 5/30/11, Rating: 0
RE: Oil prices
By omnicronx on 5/30/2011 2:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
Once again, I'm sure the Saudi's know exactly how much oil reserves they have left.

We on the other hand, including geologists around the world, do not.

They don't release this data, plain and simple. So what exactly does easy oil have to do with anything?

The OP is claiming the Saudi's have motives that make absolutely no sense, so what exactly are you trying to support here?


RE: Oil prices
By Gungel on 5/30/2011 9:56:10 AM , Rating: 2
I would imagine the size and volume of an oil field and how much has been drained from it should give you a pretty good estimate of the oil left.


RE: Oil prices
By Hiawa23 on 5/30/2011 12:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know if lower gas prices will stop defections to EVs, but for those of us here in the States that are barely getting by, & are not or can't afford to buy new vehicles sure hope the gas prices goes down. If this article is one thing, it clearly shows how these countries continue to play us like a fiddle, & it's sad our country has had decades to come up with some sort of energy plan, & to produce more of our own oil, cause let's be honest, we will not be leaving oil anytime soon, & we might as well dig, drill at every corner of the States to get more more of our own oil while looking at alternatives, because these oil producing countries clearly hate our way of of life our freedoms, but have no issues taking our money. We are supposed to be the greatest country in the world, atleast this is what they tell us on TV, but reality seems to be something else.


RE: Oil prices
By rudy on 5/30/2011 11:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
I know you will think this sucks but your mentality of wishing for lower prices is not going to solve our problems. OPEC knows this, its just giving you a sale on the crack. The best way to solve our issues is just to let them rise. As they rise Americans will adapt and change their lifestyle to use less oil. There are hundreds of things our country could do in a very short time to massively cut our oil use yet the stubborn way of people will not let that happen. The only way people will change is when they really get hit hard and money becomes an issue.

Think about all the indirect ways we could eliminate oil waste. Like get rid of all newspaper and book production and move to completely online media distribution. All the trees and oil to deliver the product will go. But we keep it around in the name of jobs that will be eliminated soon anyway. And we keep it around because some people do not want to change.

Think about how much Americans drive drive to commute from their cozy country homes into work. If oil prices rise you would see people moving closer to where they work. They may need to down size to get that move and then they may not need these huge houses. Which are also eating up energy to heat and cool.

The reality is we lived alot of years with very very nice easy lives and we wont give that up unless we are forced too. And the reason we should be happy to be forced is because it is going to happens sooner or later because this world has 6 billion people who all want that gas and we cannot sustain it. If we get ahead of the curve we will adjust if we are behind it we will be forced into much worse conditions than we are now.


RE: Oil prices
By Spuke on 6/1/2011 2:50:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Think about how much Americans drive drive to commute from their cozy country homes into work. If oil prices rise you would see people moving closer to where they work. They may need to down size to get that move and then they may not need these huge houses.
Very nice easy lives? For you maybe, I came from poverty. No easy life for me. Your mentality sucks, hate to say. I really don't want to regurgitate what's already been said. I'll just say, go back and re-read all of the other articles on this subject along with the comments on them.


RE: Oil prices
By sorry dog on 6/3/2011 10:06:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Think about all the indirect ways we could eliminate oil waste. Like get rid of all newspaper and book production and move to completely online media distribution. All the trees and oil to deliver the product will go. But we keep it around in the name of jobs that will be eliminated soon anyway. And we keep it around because some people do not want to change.


you make is sound so simple to use less oil yet even your own cherry picked example has problems. Yeah we could all go to online distribution, but what about that large chunk of America that doesn't have computers much less internet. And even if they went out and bought ipads and laptops to read the paper on, isn't that more oil from plastic used to make those and even more oil to deliver the raw material and final products?
...and what about the oil used in the construction of broadband to connect everybody that isn't connected now.


RE: Oil prices
By Hiawa23 on 5/30/2011 12:38:32 PM , Rating: 1
Killing the American Dream with each fillup. Thanks Alot, Saudi & US Governemnt..


RE: Oil prices
By YashBudini on 5/30/2011 1:16:46 PM , Rating: 2
And the "global" oil companies that are laughing all the way to the bank.


RE: Oil prices
By YashBudini on 5/30/2011 1:24:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And how do we know that there are 20, 30, or even 50 year of oil left?


It no longers matters. They now have wealth, which means they have power. It's actually a greater threat if it ends, they will be in a more desperate position.

By the looks of things just as the oil wars will be ending the water wars will be starting up.

Peace, what a concept. If only it were more.


RE: Oil prices
By Spuke on 6/1/2011 2:54:38 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with Yash somewhat here but I'll say that the real wars over oil (wars where they'll actually be fighting over oil not claiming it is over something else and the news media saying we are fighting over oil) are still in the future. The difference is we won't be involved next time (won't have to).


RE: Oil prices
By Gungel on 5/30/2011 10:06:10 AM , Rating: 2
I'm only mentioning Saudi Arabia here, I'm not talking about the whole earth. And I doubt the Saudis have some hidden oil filed that still needs to be discovered.


RE: Oil prices
By Jeffk464 on 5/30/2011 4:47:59 PM , Rating: 1
Nope, every grain of sand has already been flipped over.


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