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Saudi oil official sees no grounds for price rise

The governor of Saudi Arabia's state-run hydrocarbons company, Petromin, was quoted as saying an increase in oil prices was not justified. Abdel Hadi Taher said Saudi Arabia "does not see immediate market factors to justify new oil price hikes," but he did not elaborate. He was speaking in an interview with the English-language daily Arab News and the London-based Arabic newspaper Ash Sharq Al Awsat.

Oil prices are due to be reviewed by OPEC at a ministerial meeting in Bali, Indonesia, later this month.

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Mr. Taher said current erratic oil price behavior was due to psychological effects of the Gulf war, rather than by supply-and-demand factors.