Saudis Rebuff Bush's Request for More Oil

Ad Feedback - Saudi Arabia on Friday rebuffed President Bush's request to increase oil production to help lower prices, even as oil prices topped $127 a barrel.

Bush was spending the day with Abdullah at his horse farm outside Riyadh, talking mostly out of public view over three tea services and two meals.

"What the Saudis wanted to tell us was 'we're doing everything we can do to meet this problem.' But it's a complicated problem." Stephen Hadley, Bush's national security adviser said.

Hadley also said the Saudis briefed Bush again on their plan to increase their production capacity over time. The argued that even an increase, though, would be unlikely to bring down the soaring prices.

The record-setting prices are driven more by uncertainty in the market, lack of refining capacity for the type of oil readily available, and other complicated dynamics, Hadley said.

Still, the White House acknowledges the high price of fuel is a thorn in the side of many Americans.

"Clearly, the price of gas is too high for Americans, and it's causing a hardship for many families of low income. But it also is not allowing our economy to grow as strong as it could," spokeswoman Dana Perino said en route to Saudi Arabia.

"One of the best ways to have lower prices is if there was a better calibration between the laws of supply and demand. We have little -- not enough supply, and too high demand. Trying to get more supply out there is good for everyone," she said.

The White House says the President's visit to Saudi Arabia is intended, in part, to celebrate 75 years of formal U.S.-Saudi relations.

It will mark the conclusion of several agreements, laying out intentions to cooperate on nuclear energy, infrastructure protection and nonproliferation.

Source: The Associated Press, Reuters, CNN

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