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Saudi Arabia for urgent meet to control oil prices

Last updated on: June 10, 2008 13:24 IST

Saudi Arabia has demanded an urgent meeting of oil producing and consuming countries to discuss the 'unjustifiable rise' in fuel prices that has led to discontent across the world, especially in developing nations.

The kingdom, the world's leading oil producer, also offered to coordinate with the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers to ensure adequate fuel supply in order to curb prices.

Pressure is being mounted on OPEC, the supplier of more than a third of the world's oil, to boost output in order to ease the effect of high prices on economies across the world.

At a meeting in Aomori, Japan, the Group of Eight rich nations as well as India, China and South Korea on Sunday had said that there was an 'urgent need' to boost global oil production.

The decision to hold an oil conference was taken by the Saudi Council of Ministers, chaired by King Abdullah in Jeddah on Monday, the official Saudi press agency said.

"Current oil prices are unjustifiable in terms of petroleum facts and market fundamentals," the Cabinet said, adding that the market has sufficient supply and an increasing commercial inventory.

"Saudi Arabia will coordinate with the OPEC and other major producers to ensure adequate supply in both the present and the future," the Saudi Press Agency quoted the Cabinet as saying.

"The Kingdom will also work to prevent oil prices from rising in an unjustified and abnormal manner, affecting the international economy, especially the economies of developing countries."

The oil market has seen record-high prices making a massive eight per cent gain on Friday to $138.54 on the New York Mercantile Exchange

The Cabinet instructed Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Al-Naimi to call for the oil conference, which would include representatives from producing and consuming countries as well as companies involved in production, export and sale of oil.

Saudi Arabia increased oil production this month and had informed oil companies and consuming countries of its readiness to supply additional quantities of oil to meet their requirements, the agency said.

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