RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP)- Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali Naimi said Tuesday that the kingdom would raise oil production only when the market justifies it, responding to U.S. President George W. Bush’s urging that OPEC nations put more oil on the world market to reduce prices.
“Our interest is to keep oil supplies matching demand with minimum volatility in the oil market,” Naimi told reporters.
“We will raise production when the market justifies it. This is our policy.”
Naimi said inventory levels appear to be “normal,” adding, “we want the inventories to be healthful, but we don’t want it to be extremely high or extremely low.”
Earlier Tuesday in Riyadh, Bush warned that soaring oil prices could cause an economic slowdown in the United States.
“High energy prices can damage consuming economies,” the president told a small group of reporters traveling with him in the Mideast.