As oil prices dive, Saudi Arabia looks to Israel for new market


Saudi Arabia is looking to expand its oil sales and would be willing to sell oil to any country that wants to buy it, including Israel, the country's Minister of Petroleum Ali Al-Naimi told reporters at an OPEC summit in Vienna on Sunday.

"We do not hold a grudge against any nation and our leaders promote peace, religious tolerance and co-existence," Al-Naimi was quoted as saying by the Kuwaita news agency KUNA. "His Majesty King Abdullah has always been a model for good relations between Saudi Arabia and other states - and the Jewish state is no exception."

Saudi Arabia is also prepared to further reduce oil prices worldwide, but only if Germany agrees to remove an existing embargo on the sale of combat tanks to the country.

The statement came as oil tumbled to new multi-year lows in Asia on Monday, extending a sharp sell-off last week in response to OPEC's decision to maintain output despite a supply glut and plunging prices.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for January delivery dipped $1.65 in afternoon Asian trading to $64.50, its lowest intraday level since July 2009.

Brent crude for January sank $1.76 to $68.39, to stay below the psychologically important $70 level. It had touched $67.90 earlier Monday, its lowest since February 2010.

"Negative actions in the oil market are continuing today. Investors see crude as remaining vulnerable after last week's OPEC announcement," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, told AFP.

"We have not yet seen any piece of news or development that could trigger a bottoming-out phase in oil prices," he added.

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