Saudi Arabia says it is ready to pump more crude oil, in a bid to stabilize prices that have been hitting record highs.
The Saudi deputy oil minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, says Riyadh is prepared to meet the demands of its customers.
His comments Saturday came a day before the world's major oil producers
and consumers are to gather in Saudi Arabia for talks on the dramatic
rise in crude oil prices.
Saudi Arabia called for Sunday's meeting in Jeddah to address an energy
crisis that has caused social and economic turmoil around the world.
The Saudis are expected to formally announce plans at the meeting to
increase oil production by 200-thousand barrels a day in July.
But the head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, of
which Saudi Arabia is a key member, has said increasing oil production
is "illogical." OPEC President Chakib Khelil said Friday that oil
prices have been driven up by speculation and geopolitical tension.
US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Saturday that insufficient oil
production -- and not financial speculation -- is behind soaring crude
prices. He said oil production has not kept pace with growing demand.
Iran has said increasing oil production will not help to bring prices
down. Iran is OPEC's second-largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia.