Saudi Arabia wants to keep oil prices close to $100 per barrel because it needs the money for internal security matters, an analyst said.
Saudi Arabia is considered a moderate among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries when it comes to oil prices. Riyadh in 2008 said it considered $75 per barrel of crude oil fair but Ali Naimi, the country's oil minister, told CNN his hope is that "we can stabilize this oil price and keep it at a level around $100."
Bill Farren-Price, a consultant at Petroleum Policy Intelligence, told the Financial Times that $100 per barrel was a good level in terms of the investments needed to boost oil supplies.
But Carsten Fritsch, an oil analyst at Commerzbank, said Riyadh's new target price may be a reflection of internal issues brought on by the Arab Spring.
"The Saudis need to spend more money to keep their citizens quiet and prevent protests," he told the news service.
In December, Amnesty International published a report detailing a "new wave of repression" in the Saudi kingdom since the start of the Arab Spring in early 2011.
Saber rattling in the Persian Gulf has pushed oil prices higher this week.