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by Tim Beissmann

A Saudi prince has admitted he wants global oil prices to drop to slow the rate of development of fuel efficient technologies and alternative energy vehicles.

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal told CNN that he would like to see the price of oil drop to $US70 to $US80 a barrel ($65 to $75) from the current rate of $US100 a barrel ($93).

Talal, the 26th richest man in the world according to Forbes, said lower prices would help slow the acceleration of the US and Europe weaning off his nation’s oil supplies and secure its wealth further into the future.

“We don’t want the West to go and find alternatives, because, clearly, the higher the price of oil goes, the more they have incentives to go and find alternatives,” he said.

Talal blamed continued unrest in Bahrain and Libya and uncertainty over political stability in his region for the current high oil prices.

“You’re not 100 percent sure what is going to happen, because you hear once in a while Iran coming and jumping and antagonising and intimidating the Gulf region,” he said. “So there’s a worry.”




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