US Vice President Welcomes Saudi Arabia's Plan to Increase Oil Pumping
US Vice President Al Gore has welcomed on Monday Saudi Arabia's plans to pump an extra half a million barrels of oil a day, hoping it will drive down fuel prices, reported the BBC.online.
Although it has not been confirmed, reports suggest Saudi Arabia is set to pump half a million more barrels of oil a day, in a bid to bring down the price of oil.
Oil producers fear customers could use other fuel unless they act to bring the price down, said the BBC.
Consumer outrage at soaring petrol prices has grown both in the UK and the US.
Gore said he hoped the increased output would result in cheaper pump prices and called on fuel companies to pass on any cuts in the price of oil.
"I want to call on the big oil companies to let that Saudi output increase pass through in the form of price reductions to the people who are filling their cars up at the gasoline filling stations," he said.
In the UK, where fuel taxes make up a far greater percentage of the total price of a liter of fuel, the government has come under pressure to reduce taxes and therefore prices, the BBC added.
But at the weekend, British prime minister Tony Blair delivered a "pay up or shut up" message to those campaigning against high petrol prices in the UK, claiming a cut in taxes would mean cuts in essential services such as health.
So far it is unclear if Saudi Arabia has the support of the members of OPEC, the industry organization made up of the world's major oil producers.
Last month, OPEC members agreed to increase oil production by 708,000 barrels a day, in the hope of bringing the oil price closer to its target of $25 a barrel.
"If the price does not decrease, Saudi Arabia, in consultation with other producers, will increase production by 500,000 barrels per day, within the next few days," Saudi oil minister Ali Naimi told the official Saudi news agency SPA on Monday.
The minister's comments seem to have come as a surprise to other members of the OPEC cartel, said the BBC.
"Before Saudi Arabia takes any decision it is essential to hold consultations. Until now we have always taken decisions by consensus," OPEC president Ali Rodriguez said, according to the BBC - Albawaba.com
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