Bush urges Opec to up output

It would be a “mistake” for Opec ministers meeting in Vienna to ignore the pain record-high oil prices were inflicting on the United States, President George W Bush said yesterday.

In some of his strongest language to date, Bush turned up the heat on the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, source of about a third of the globe’s oil supply.

Oil prices set new highs above US$100 ($125) a barrel this week and average US petrol prices crept nearer to their record of US$3.22 a gallon set last May.

“I think it’s a mistake to have your biggest customer’s economy slow down … as a result of high energy prices,” Bush said.

In real terms, the US oil price of US$103.95 a barrel set on Tuesday is the highest on record, including the price shocks of 1978-1980.

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