Oil Prices Could Skyrocket if Unrest Hits Saudi Arabia

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Former Saudi oil minister Sheik Yamani warned Tuesday the price of oil could rise to $300 a barrel if the unrest in the Middle East spreads to Saudi Arabia.

"If something happens in Saudi Arabia it will go to $200 to $300 a barrel. I don't expect this for the time being, but who would have expected Tunisia?" Yamani said at a conference at the London-based Center for Global Energy Studies.

"The political events that took place are there, and we don't expect them to finish. I think there are some surprises on the horizon," he said, adding that underlying discontent remained unresolved in the Middle Eastern nation.

"Some people relax about the situation in Saudi Arabia because the Saudi Islamic brand prohibits people to go to the street and to talk," Yamani said, referring to the reluctance of people to participate in popular protests.

"Saudi Arabia is a time bomb, but one that is constantly being reset," Jaafar Al Taie, managing director of Manaar Energy Consulting told the Oil & Gas Journal, in reference to recent spending by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to defuse potential trouble at home.

Right now, the price of oil is $108 a barrel after the recent problems in Libya and other countries.

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