Saudi oil meeting scheduled for June 22: OPEC


Posted at Jun 11 2008 01:50 AM | Updated as of Jun 11 2008 09:50 AM

Agence France-Presse

PARIS - Saudi Arabia is to host a meeting of oil producers and consumers on June 22, OPEC Secretary General Abdalla El-Badri told AFP Tuesday.

"It will take place on June 22 in Jeddah," he told AFP by telephone, adding that officials from consumer countries, the International Energy Agency and the heads of investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs would be invited.

Oil kingpin Saudi Arabia called on Monday for the talks between producer and consumer countries in the aftermath of fresh records on oil markets.

The benchmark price for crude oil in New York surged to a record 139.12 dollar last Friday.

At a meeting chaired by King Abdullah on Monday, the Saudi cabinet announced the initiative and restated its view that the leap in prices was not because of a shortage of supplies.

Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi has been asked to "convene a meeting soon of representatives of producer and consumer nations and firms operating in the production, export and trading of oil to discuss the jump in prices, its causes and how to deal with it objectively."

Saudi Arabia, a close Western ally, has come under huge US pressure to boost output to help end the volatility in world markets that saw New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for July delivery, leap 10.75 dollars a barrel on Friday -- its biggest one-day jump ever.

US President George W. Bush said Tuesday that the Saudi proposal was "interesting."

Analysts in the Gulf said that the call for a meeting was aimed at showing that OPEC states were not responsible for the surge.

"The meeting is needed to discuss objectively the root causes of oil price hikes instead of simply blaming producers for the rise.

"All sides have got a role to play in resolving the crisis," Kuwaiti oil analyst Kamel al-Harami said.

"It is an opportunity for a transparent and clear dialogue between producers and consumers to collectively explore solutions to the world's energy crisis, now and in the future," Harami told AFP.