Yamani: oil may hit $100 a barrel
By George Trefgarne, Economics Editor
Sheikh Yamani, the former head of Opec who terrorised the West
with threats over oil supplies in the 1970s, returned to the fray
yesterday when he warned that the price of crude could triple to
$100 a barrel if there is a war against Iraq.
His comments contributed to another torrid day on financial markets,
where shares tumbled. The FTSE 100 index closed down 68.3 at
3,671.1, a level unseen since December 1995.
In an interview in a German magazine DM Euro, Sheikh Yamani -
who is now retired as Saudi oil minister but still close to the ruling
family - said Saddam Hussein could fire chemical weapons at his
neighbours if he was attacked.
"And if that's the case, you can expect a triple-digit oil price. It could
rise to $100 if the flow of oil from Kuwait and Saudia Arabia is
The benchmark price of a barrel of crude rose 12 cents to $29.25
yesterday, still below the $40 a barrel it reached during the Gulf war.
But analysts are increasingly concerned that it will continue to rise.
Last night Alan Greenspan, chairman of the US Federal Reserve,
declined to come to the market's rescue. US interest rates were left on
hold at 1.75 per cent.