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Saudi Official Says Oil Price Could Triple in Event of Military Conflict Over Iran


Saudi Arabia's ambassador in Washington said Tuesday that a military conflict with Iran would double or triple the price of oil.

Saudi Ambassador Turki Al-Faisal said military conflict with Iran would be counterproductive and would turn the Persian Gulf into an inferno. Faisal spoke to reporters in Washington.

"Definitely you would see, if you're talking about $70 a barrel oil now, you would see that perhaps double or triple as a result of the conflict," he said.

Faisal said he supports a diplomatic solution to defuse the conflict between Iran's desire to develop nuclear technology and the unified opposition of the United Nations Security Council.

Oil prices for a second day held steady below $70 a barrel. Crude closed in New York Tuesday at just under $69 a barrel. Oil reached a record high of over $75 in April. Prices have more than doubled in the past two years.

Meanwhile, a U.S. energy department report predicts that global energy consumption will climb two percent a year over the next 25 years. That represents a 71 percent increase from 2003. Demand in the rich industrial countries is projected to rise by one percent annually while energy consumption in China and India will rise by nearly four percent per year. Oil's share in global energy consumption is projected to drop from its current 39 percent to 33 percent in 2030. Oil consumption is predicted to grow by 23 percent by 2015.

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