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Energy Insights: Energy News: Prince Alwaleed: Oil will never see $100 again

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Prince Alwaleed: Oil will never see $100 again


Everett Rosenfeld  @Ev_Rosenfeld

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, Kingdom Holdings chairman, shares his thoughts on his uncle's legacy, and denies his country is punishing U.S. frackers.

The world will never again see the price of oil at $100 per barrel, one of Saudi Arabia's biggest investors told CNBC on Friday.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holdings, spoke with "Squawk on the Street" following the death of his uncle, King Abdullah. While he admitted that his country—which derives 90 percent of its budget from oil—is feeling the pain of the commodity's collapse, he predicted that Saudi Arabia would not be the first to blink.

He said that a "confluence of events" have led to the fall in oil's price, not—as some have suggested—a Saudi plot to harm America's revitalized energy industry.

"I can assure you that Saudi Arabia is not using the oil price right now to impact the fracking industry in the United States," he said, adding that "there's an oversupply and demand is not so high."

The lack of balance between oil's supply and demand means the road back to $60-$70 range will be "not that easy, not that quick," the prince said, adding that markets may not even have found the bottom yet.

Given this weakness in oil's price, Alwaleed admitted that the global strength of OPEC has weakened.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal

'I'm a dollar man'

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal
Daniel Acker  Bloomberg  Getty Images

"I would not say that OPEC is dead, but I think the impact of OPEC as it was years ago is not the same for sure today," he said.

He added that "there's a game of who should cut production first" between members of the oil cartel and non-OPEC nations.

"Eventually there's no doubt that some countries have to blink and reduce their production. ... I don't see Saudi Arabia or the OPEC countries blinking," he said.

Alwaleed said he thought oil's price could lead to political turmoil in countries like Venezuela that depend so much on the commodity and "don't have a lot of extra wealth on the side for that rainy day"—unlike Saudi Arabia and its neighbors.

Weighing in on the global currency market, Alwaleed simply said "I'm a dollar man." As for equities, he said Kingdom Holdings will maintain its diversified strategy, but it is interested in some new companies like China's

Following Abdullah's death, Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz became king of the world's top oil exporter.

Salman is a reformer at heart, Alwaleed said, and the country will continue down the same paths of financial, social and political reform as during Abdullah's reign.

Reflecting on the political turmoil in neighboring Yemen, Alwaleed said the resignations of that country's prime minister and president means "clearly we have seen the hands of Iran infiltrating that country through its blatant and open support of the Houthis there."

He called it an "unfortunate situation" as Yemen's political vacuum could eventually be a "seat of trouble."

Everett Rosenfeld Staff Writer

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