WikiLeaks: Saudis often warned U.S. about oil speculators in 2008

Right, they can’t ‘put crude out on the market’ but they can lower the price, a point he cleverly avoids.

WikiLeaks: Saudis often warned U.S. about oil speculators

By Kevin G. Hall

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al Naimi even told U.S. Ambassador Ford Fraker that the kingdom would have difficulty finding customers for the additional crude, according to an account laid out in a confidential State Department cable dated Sept. 28, 2008,

“Saudi Arabia can’t just put crude out on the market,” the cable quotes Naimi as saying. Instead, Naimi suggested, “speculators bore significant responsibility for the sharp increase in oil prices in the last few years,” according to the cable.

What role Wall Street investors play in the high cost of oil is a hotly debated topic in Washington. Despite weak demand, the price of a barrel of crude oil surged more than 25 percent in the past year, reaching a peak of $113 May 2 before falling back to a range of $95 to $100 a barrel.

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