Worldwide oil demand may increase as much as 1.8 million barrels a day, or 2 percent, in 2011, Al-Naimi said in a speech in
Riyadh today, adding that he is optimistic about global energy markets. Prices gained earlier on forecasts that U.S. economic
growth accelerated in the fourth quarter while industrial orders in the euro area increased in November.
“Saudi Arabia won’t let prices rise too quickly, in order not to distort demand,” said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities
research at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “As the only producer with spare production capacity at the moment, they are more
in control of supply and prices than anybody else.”