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Oil prices lower in Asian morning trade

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

SINGAPORE (Thomson Financial) - World oil prices continued lower in Asian trade Wednesday after President Bush urged producers to take action over "very high" prices.

In morning trade, New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, fell 18 US cents to 91.72 dollars per barrel. The contract closed 2.30 dollars lower at 91.90 in trading at the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for February delivery settled 1.94 dollars lower at 90.98 dollars.

Crude prices soared to 100 dollars per barrel at the start of the year, piling pressure on the US economy, the world's biggest oil consumer.

Bush urged oil producers to take action, broaching a sensitive topic on the second day of talks with Saudi Arabia, the biggest producer in OPEC.

With fears of a recession looming large in the US, Bush said he would speak to Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah "about the fact that oil prices are very high, which is tough on our economy."

"And that I would hope, as OPEC considers different production levels, that they understand that if ... one of their biggest consumers' economy suffers, it will mean less purchases, less oil and gas sold," Bush said.

OPEC is due to meet in Vienna on Feb 1 after shrugging off calls to increase output at its last meeting, in December.

Responding to Bush, Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi said: "We will raise production when the market justifies it."

Posted by MOHAMED SAID at 7:19 PM  


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