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Bush urges Saudi Arabia to up oil production

Saudi Arabia's recent gain in oil production is “something but it doesn't solve our problem” caused by skyrocketing oil prices, US President George W. Bush said.

Bush made the remarks to reporters after a meeting with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he arrived earlier in the day to attend the opening session of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East on Sunday.

Bush told the reporters that “it's not enough. It's something but it doesn't solve our problem,” referring to Riyadh's decision last week to raise oil output by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd).

“We've got to do more at home,” Bush said, adding that the US must focus on alternative measures to ease the oil crisis.

“Our problem in America gets solved when we aggressively go for domestic exploration. Our problem in America gets solved if we expand our refining capacity, promote nuclear energy and continue our strategy for the advancement of alternative energies as well as conservation.” he stressed.

Bush had reminded Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz earlier this week that the soaring prices are inflicting the kingdom's biggest oil customers, especially the United States.

Under the US pressure for an increase in oil production after Venezuela and Mexico slashed oil exports, Saudi Arabia has raised on May 10 oil output by 300,000 bpd so that “supply and demand are in balance,” according to Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi.

Despite the output of 9.45 million bpd at present, the Saudi oil minister promised that “if the need appears, Saudi Arabia has no objection to producing more.” (Xinhua)