Saudis Pledge to Increase Oil Production

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CBNNews.com - WASHINGTON - Gas prices have set yet another record at $4.10 a gallon. But one leading analyst believes they may have peaked for the year.

Now, Saudi Arabia says it will start producing more oil to try to bring the price down.

Oil Summit

The complaints about high gas prices have been heard around the world. And it was the driving force behind Sunday's emergency meeting in Saudi Arabia between oil producers and oil consumers.

With gas prices in the U.S., now exceeding $4.00 - higher than it was one year ago - Saudi arabia pledged to pump more oil into the market in July.

Saudi Arabian officials predicted it could take time before their move takes effect.

"Oil business is a long term business. Things cannot change overnight," Dr. Ibrahim al-Muhanna of the Saudi Ministry of Petroleum & Mineral Resources said.

OPEC blames high prices on speculators in the market, a weak dollar, and consumption in the U.S.

"Four dollars a gallon compared to what the Europeans pay is very cheap, " OPEC President Chekib Khelil said.

But it seems to be more than Americans are willing to pay. Demand for gasoline has gone down 1-percent from this time last year.

"High oil prices, while they benefit from it, if it hurts the consumer too much means that they're risking their own futures," PFC Energy's Raad Alkadiri said.

Candidates Weigh In

The high price of oil and gas has become a presidential campaign issue.

Last week, President Bush called on congress to lift a ban on offshore drilling to ease the soaring prices.

It's a plan Republican John McCain supports but Democrat Barack Obama opposes.

Obama promised Sunday that if he's elected, he would crack down on energy traders he blames in large part for the skyrocketing price of oil.

But U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman says the government hasn't found evidence speculators are pushing up prices. He says the world just isn't producing enough oil to meet the growing demand.

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